DOH-7 warns public on common summer diseases
CEBU CITY, April 17 (PIA) -- With the onset of the summer season, the Department of Health (DOH-7) warns the public on frequent summer diseases due to high temperature and sudden change of weather.
Certain diseases the public should be wary of are colds, cough, heat stroke and skin cancer, bared Monico Carlo Giangco, assistant nurse for Vector-Borne Diseases Program of the DOH-7.
â€śColds are one of the most common illnesses during summer and can affect the very young and the very old. This can be spread either by direct contact or by inhaling the airborne virus after an affected individual sneezes or coughs,â€ť said Giangco.
According to Giangco, colds are usually caused by rhinovirus causing approximately 30 to 35 percent of all adult colds. Other causing viruses are coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza virus but of which are self-limiting in nature.
Cough, on the other hand, is classified into two categories such as acute and chronic. An acute cough is one that is present for less than three weeks while chronic means coughing for more than three weeks.
The best way to prevent cough is to stop smoking and to avoid secondhand smoke, particularly for people with asthma, chronic lung disease, and environmental allergies, disclosed Giangco.
In order not to easily develop colds or cough, Giangco said the DOH is promoting a healthy lifestyle such as appropriate diet which is more on fruits and vegetables, regular exercise and plenty of rest.
Bad habits or vices should also be kicked off such as excessive smoking and drinking, this is said.
Excessive scorching heat can also cause heat stroke as Giangco advised to drink more fluids in order not to be dehydrated.
People suffering from chronic illnesses such as heart disease and uncontrolled diabetes as well as Parkinsonâ€™s are prone to heat stroke. Other risk factors are old age, alcoholism, obesity, and use of certain medications such as diuretics, antihistamines, and psychoactive drugs such as cocaine, the DOH-7 nurse disclosed.
Giangco further said an extremely high temperature of 41 degrees can already cause heat stroke while symptoms include hot, red dry skin, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, headache, confusion, strange behavior and possible loss of consciousness.
Constant exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) light causes skin cancer while people at risk include those with fair skin, those with certain genetic disorders that deplete skin pigment such as albinism, people treated for skin cancer, those with numerous moles, unusual moles or large moles, familial skin cancer and people who have suffered at least once severe sunburn early in life.
â€śOne must always use sun protection and never expose too much and too long under the sun,â€ť said Giangco.
Giangco stressed that prevention is always better than an ounce of cure. (FCR/Kimberly Gee Binga-an CNU Intern/PIA7, Cebu)
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