This summer, millions of Filipinos will again travel far and wide seeking fun and entertainment. Many will explore beautiful sights and experience adventure and exploits, often times unmindful of the dangers that lurk behind. The Department of Health (DOH) reminds everyone that making your summer escapades danger-proof is possible.
The DOH today issued a warning on 6 common summer diseases or conditions (6S) that can adversely affect one’s health. These are Sore eyes, Sunburn, Sipon at ubo, Suka at tae, Sakit sa balat and Sakmal ng aso.
Sore eyes or conjunctivitis, when mistreated, can lead to blindness. More than just eye irritation, it can easily be due to harmful bacteria or viruses that easily spread to other people. Hand washing can limit its spread. Health experts advise not to use eye drops without consulting a doctor.
Sunburn can be prevented if you time your outdoor activities. Outdoor activities must be done in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid the sun between 10am-2pm. Hide in the shade or seek cool places to prevent ill-effects of too much sun exposure.
Use sunscreen appropriately like choosing a product that retards against both UVA and UVB rays, with at least an SPF30, applying them 30 minutes before actual sun exposure and not sparingly at best, and also reapplying if exposure will be extended and not sparing the ears and nape areas nor the feet.
Avoid heat stroke by drinking 8-12 glasses of water a day. Remember not to stay under the sun too long. Holy week penitents can also benefit from these tips.
“Sipon at ubo” easily spreads even during the summer months as erratic weather bring sudden downpour from time to time. Senior citizens are advised to get vaccinated against influenza before the flu season begins in June.
The DOH is also monitoring suspect cases infected with the new coronavirus. To date, the WHO already reported 16 cases with 9 deaths.
The new corona virus infection is characterized by respiratory symptoms with progressive respiratory difficulty. Remember to wash your hands frequently and to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Better still, stay at home when you are sick. Our airports will continue to screen travelers as a routine precaution to prevent spread of diseases that may spread internationally.
“Suka at tae” follows consumption of contaminated food or drinks. This summer, be cautious of street foods and even with those prepared for out-of-town trips. Remember that food spoils easily during hot summer months. Always have oral rehydration salt solution at hand just in case you get bad diarrhea.
“Sakit sa balat” is another common summer disease in areas where water becomes scarce so that daily bathing is compromised. Inmates in crowded prisons can easily spread infections from boils.
Skin diseases abound when one swims in dirty water or unmaintained public swimming pools. Remember to take a bath before and after plunging into the pool and please do not urinate in the pool. However, the real danger in swimming is drowning. Children should not be left alone in the pool or beach.
“Sakmal ng aso” can lead to rabies if wounds are not washed and cared for. Make sure dogs are vaccinated against rabies. If you sustain dog bites, visit the animal bite center to get rabies vaccination.
Indeed, summer is fun and can be disease-free.