Summer means school vacations, trips out of town and all the iced desserts you can eat. But these hot months are also the season for health risks. Here’s what you need to know.
Chickepox is caused by the varicella virus and transmitted through airborne and direct contact. It starts with a moderate to a high-grade fever, followed by itchy, fluid-filled rashes that usually start from the trunk before spreading to other parts of the body.
Rx: Paracetamol for fever. Use Calamine lotion to relieve itchiness, and isolation for up to 5 days after the first onset of the rash.
Prevention: There are now vaccinations against chickenpox, the first doze given at 12 to 15 months of age.
Loss of fluid due to excessive sweating, prolonged periods under the sun, fever, excessive urination, vomiting or diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Symptoms include a sticky or dry mouth, low or no urine output, no tears, sunken eyeballs, sunken fontanellas (the soft areas on infant’s head), and thirst (but refusing to drink).
Rx: Hydrate with oral rehydrating solutions (ORS), given at small amounts at short intervals.
Prevention: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but increase your intake if you expect to be more active than usual, says Dr. Karen Gemma Alcid.
Common causes include: viral bacteria from spoiled food, and toxic chemicals like pesticides. Symptoms vary; abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea are common. Fever chills and bloody stools may also occur.
Rx: It usually can be treated at home through increased fluid intake. Stomach friendly foods (rice, bread, clear soup Chicken) may be given in small amounts. Avoid fried or sugary foods. Most food poisonings do not require the use of anti-diarrheal medications but they are safe for adults if used as directed by a doctor. Prevention: When preparing food, prevent cross-contamination by making sure raw meat, poultry and seafood are kept away from other food. Food should be cooked properly at the appropriate temperature to kill harmful bacteria; refrigerate leftovers immediately, and reheat before serving. Fruits and vegetables should be washed and peeled before being eaten. Always wash your hands before and after handling food.
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