10 common summer diseases in the Philippines
Here are 10 common summer diseases in the Philippines and their definitions:
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Heat stroke is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body overheats and is unable to cool down. It is a type of heat-related illness that can develop when the body’s temperature regulation system is overwhelmed due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures, high humidity, and dehydration.
Heat stroke can be caused by various factors. Such as strenuous physical activity, wearing excessive clothing, or staying in a hot and humid environment for extended periods. Common symptoms of heat stroke include high body temperature (typically above 104°F or 40°C), altered mental state, rapid heartbeat, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and hot and dry skin.
If left untreated, heat stroke can lead to severe complications. Such as damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, and other organs, and in severe cases, it can result in coma or even death.
If you suspect someone has a heat stroke, it’s important to seek emergency medical attention immediately. In the meantime, move the person to a cool and shaded area, remove any unnecessary clothing, and promote cooling. Give them fluids to drink if they are conscious, but do not give them any medications to reduce fever.
Sunburn is a common skin condition that occurs when the skin is overexposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is a form of radiation burn that causes redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area of the skin.
When the skin is exposed to the sun, the UV rays can damage the skin cells, causing inflammation and redness. Sunburn can occur within a few hours of exposure to the sun. It can be worsened by the intensity of the sun, altitude, and reflection on surfaces like sand, water, or snow.
The symptoms of sunburn include redness and pain in the affected area, swelling, blisters, peeling skin, and in severe cases, nausea, fever, and chills. Sunburn can also increase the risk of developing skin cancer in the long run.
To prevent sunburn, it’s essential to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by:
- wearing protective clothing
- using sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF)
- seeking shade during peak sun hours
- avoiding tanning beds
If you do get sunburned, you can treat it by applying aloe vera or other soothing lotions to the affected area and drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. It happens when you don’t drink enough water, or lose too much fluid due to sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting, or a combination of these factors. Dehydration can range from mild to severe, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications.
Common signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- thirst, dry mouth
- dark-colored urine
- tiredness, dizziness
- dry or sticky mouth
- dry skin
Severe dehydration may also cause rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, sunken eyes, and confusion.
Hot weather during summer can cause spoiled food that may lead to food poisoning. Gastrointestinal infections are infections that affect the digestive system, including the stomach, intestines, and other organs involved in digestion.
They are typically caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites, and can be spread through contaminated food or water, poor hygiene, or close contact with infected individuals.
Dengue fever is a disease that is more commonly seen during the summer months in tropical and subtropical regions, including the Philippines.
This is because the Aedes mosquito, which transmits the virus that causes dengue fever, thrives in warm and humid environments.
During the summer months, people tend to spend more time outdoors, and mosquitoes are more active. Which increases the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Additionally, the rainy season in the Philippines, which typically occurs from May to October, can create breeding grounds for mosquitoes in stagnant water.
To prevent dengue fever during the summer months, it’s important to take measures to avoid mosquito bites. This includes the following:
- wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants
- using mosquito repellent
- staying in air-conditioned or screened areas.
It’s also important to eliminate standing water around your home where mosquitoes can breed.
Malaria is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease that is caused by a parasite transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito. It is usual in many tropical and subtropical regions, including the Philippines, and can occur year-round in some areas.
While malaria transmission is generally higher during the rainy season. Which typically occurs in the Philippines from May to October, it is still possible to contract malaria during the summer months. This is because the Anopheles mosquito can breed and thrive in warm and humid environments.
Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which also transmits dengue fever and Zika virus.
It is prevalent in many tropical and subtropical regions, including the Philippines, and can occur year-round, with higher transmission rates during the rainy season.
During the summer months, the Aedes mosquito is more active, and people tend to spend more time outdoors. Which increases the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms of chikungunya typically include the following:
- joint pain
- muscle pain
- rash which can be similar to symptoms of other mosquito-borne illnesses.
To prevent chikungunya during the summer months, it’s important to take measures to avoid mosquito bites. This includes wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, using mosquito repellent, and staying in air-conditioned or screened areas. It’s also important to eliminate standing water around your home where mosquitoes can breed.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi, which is spread through contaminated food and water. It can occur year-round, but there may be a higher incidence during the summer months in some regions, including the Philippines.
During the summer months, the risk of contaminated food and water can increase due to factors. Such as higher temperatures and more frequent power outages. That can lead to spoilage of food and interruption of water supply.
To prevent typhoid fever during the summer months, it’s important to practice good food and water hygiene. This includes the following:
- washing hands frequently, especially before handling food
- using clean water for drinking and cooking
- avoiding foods that may be at higher risk of contamination, such as raw or undercooked meat and eggs.
It’s also important to properly store and handle food, and to use a thermometer to ensure food is cooked to the proper temperature.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the Leptospira bacteria. That can be found in the urine of infected animals such as rats, dogs, and cattle.
It can occur year-round, but there may be a higher incidence during the summer months in some regions, including the Philippines.
During the summer months, heavy rains and flooding can increase the risk of exposure to contaminated water or soil. Leptospira bacteria can enter the body through cuts or abrasions on the skin, or through mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth.
To prevent leptospirosis during the summer months, it’s important to avoid contact with contaminated water or soil. This includes wearing protective clothing and footwear when working or playing in areas where the risk of exposure is high. Such as flood-prone areas or areas with a high population of rats. It’s also important to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands and exposed skin with soap and water after exposure to potentially contaminated areas.
During the summer months, air pollution levels can increase due to factors such as higher temperatures and increased traffic, which can trigger asthma symptoms in some people.
Additionally, exposure to allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust mites may increase during the summer months, which can also trigger asthma symptoms.
To prevent asthma symptoms during the summer months, it’s important to identify and avoid triggers as much as possible.
This may involve staying indoors during high pollen or pollution days, using air conditioning to filter the air, and taking medications as prescribed by a doctor.
It’s also important to maintain good asthma management habits year-round, such as following an asthma action plan and regularly seeing a doctor for check-ups.
How can you protect your family from the common summer diseases in the Philippines?
Protecting your family from common summer diseases in the Philippines involves taking several preventive measures. Here are some ways to keep your family safe and healthy during the summer season:
- Encourage proper hygiene: Teach your family members to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the bathroom, to prevent gastrointestinal infections.
- Use mosquito repellent: Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin, use mosquito nets while sleeping, and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to prevent mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, and malaria.
- Keep your surroundings clean: Eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed, and keep your surroundings clean to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like leptospirosis.
- Cook food thoroughly: Cook food thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria and prevent food poisoning.
- Stay hydrated: Encourage your family members to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to prevent dehydration.
- Protect yourself from the sun: Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and hats, and use sunscreen to avoid sunburn and heatstroke.
- Manage allergies: If any family member has allergies, take necessary precautions such as avoiding allergens and taking medications as prescribed.
- Practice safe swimming: Avoid swimming in stagnant water, and ensure that swimming pools are properly maintained to prevent water-borne diseases.
- Keep your family’s vaccinations up to date: Make sure that your family members’ vaccinations are up to date, including vaccinations for mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis.
By following these preventive measures, you can protect your family from common summer diseases in the Philippines and enjoy a safe and healthy summer season.