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10 Health Woes Summer Brings
It’s summer time! We somehow manage to survive freezing winters by thinking and dreaming about the beautifully warm summer weather.
But the heat of summer can bring out more than just bikini’s and flip flops. It also releases microbes and bacteria and other ugly bugs that can really put a damper on your fun.
Among the things that tend to rise to the surface when the temperatures soar, some are mild, yet annoying, while others are downright deadly. Check out our list of the top 10 dangers the summer weather brings.
1. The Hantavirus
This is a virus that is carried by rats and mice. It’s rare, but Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome can be deadly. People spend more time outside in the summer. So do the rodents. When you come in contact through the droppings of rodents that have become infected, then you, too, could become infected. Take care especially when sweeping or cleaning out places where rodents have made their homes. This virus is airborne and when you clean or sweep you could be inhaling the virus. Be especially careful to keep your home, cabin, workshops, and other places free of rodents.
2. Valley Fever
Coccidiodomycosis, more commonly called valley fever, is a potentially life threating infection caused by a natural fungus that lives in soil. You can become infected by breathing in the spores from these fungi when the wind blows it into the air.
This fungus grows quickly in the soil after a heavy rain, and then disperses itself into the air during hot, dry conditions, especially on windy days. Therefore, most infections are diagnosed when the weather is hot and dry, particularly during a drought.
Most of this fungus lives in California and Arizona, but there have been cases in south Washington State.
Since you cannot see these spores as they fly through the air, it’s difficult to avoid them. Try to stay inside on hot windy days. If you live or visit these areas and find you have flu-like symptoms within the next two or three months, see your doctor. There are tests to confirm the presence of this fungus and you will need to take antifungal medication.
3. Kidney stones
Yep. Due to dehydration, it’s easy to develop kidney stones during the summer months. When you sweat your body loses water as well as produces less urine. This allows for the minerals in the kidneys to form stones. Drink plenty of water during the hot summer months, even more so than you normally do. Find out how to naturally alkalize water at home.
4. West Nile Virus
You’ve most likely heard of this one. Every summer there are warnings about avoiding mosquitoes because of this virus. Infection rates seem to start rising in June in America, and they peak somewhere around the middle of August.
Most people who become infected have no symptoms but some will come down with headaches, fever, and nausea. Approximately 1 percent of infected individuals will develop serious complications such as paralysis, meningitis, or encephalitis. About 10 percent of the people in this group will die from their infections.
So avoid becoming infected by using insect repellent, insect repellent clothing, and wearing long sleeves. A mosquito net over the bed is an extremely effective way of keeping yourself free of mosquito bites while you sleep. They are inexpensive and a great investment considering the possible alternatives.
5. Brain Eating Amoeba
No, this isn’t a science fiction movie of the week, it’s real. A heat loving microscopic amoeba, naegleria fowleri, lives in warm fresh water locations like lakes, rivers, even natural hot springs. It can be found in soil occasionally. Almost all cases of infection have happened during the summer months.
When people get infected when they swim in warm, fresh water. This parasite enters the body via the nose, then travels to the brain and causes a deadly inflammation of the brain, including the membrane that surrounds the brain.
Although this infection is rare (only 31 reported cases in the past 10 years) but it’s rare for an infected person to survive.
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