Yes, it’s that time of year. We are out and about and so are the bugs. Here is some information to keep you safe this summer from not only the bugs but the sun as well.
Weather during the summer can be very hot and sticky, with sometimes a repetitive weather pattern of moisture with few drying out periods between showers which can lead to the breeding of mosquitoes in record numbers. Most of them are harmless, except for causing itchiness but some do carry diseases. Time to protect yourself! Avoid the outdoors at dawn and at dusk and stay away from areas of standing water. Better yet, eliminate those areas of standing water. And remember to use mosquito repellent.
West Nile Virus is primarily transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite. West Nile has a 3 -14-day incubation period, and those infected will become symptomatic with a combination of the following: sudden fever onset, lack of appetite, generally not feeling good, severe muscle weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle pain, weakness, enlarged lymph nodes, or a change in mental status. Treatment is rest, fluids, over the counter analgesics. Prevention: mosquito repellent when outdoors, long sleeves, socks, and pants when out-doors, stay indoors from dusk to dawn, standing water should be removed from outdoor receptacles. For more information go to http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html
“Zika virus disease is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.” Information from the www.CSC.gov website.
Are you nervous about ticks? Ticks spring into action this time of the year and New Hampshire takes the prize for the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease over the years. Be aware that not all tick bites lead to Lyme disease but if symptoms rear their ugly head, do not delay in seeking confirmation that the bite is serious. Everyone experiences bites differently – some with one area involved and others with significant symptoms throughout the body. Ticks may also carry other types of diseases. So the message is - be aware that deer ticks can be found on other animals (pets) also, and if there is a bite, monitor the site and seek medical assistance if there is any doubt, or if symptoms become questionable. Better safe than sorry!
Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness. Early localized disease usually occurs within one month of the tick bite, with the characteristic rash (EM) at the site of the tick bite, usually within 7-14 days. Eighty percent of patients with Lyme disease will have EM, usually found in the armpit, lower abdomen, behind the knee or belt line. It is usually not painful, but may itch or burn, and is hot to the touch. EM expands slowly over days or weeks and will have a "target or bull's eye" appearance. Other symptoms in this phase include: fatigue, anorexia, headache, neck stiffness, muscle pain, joint pain, enlarged lymph nodes, and fever. Weeks to months after infection is characterized by multiple EM lesions and possibly neurologic (most commonly facial nerve) or cardiac findings. Late Lyme disease develops months to years after the initial infection and shows up in intermittent or persistent arthritis of the large joints.
Prevention: Checking for and removing ticks after outdoor activities, bathing after outdoor activities where ticks are abundant, wearing protective clothing, using tick repellent on skin and clothing, avoiding areas where ticks are abundant.
Information from Kathy Nevins DNP, NP-C, RN and Ann Moran RN
Sunshine on my Shoulders!
Last but Not Least protect yourself from Sun Damage. Sunny, warm days tend to beckon us to the great outdoors and the many activities that are available on any one given day. Sun is good in moderation but lengthy exposure to the rays can get us into trouble. Chronic sun ex- posure can lead to thin skin and possible wrinkles in later years. But a very real concern is skin cancer. Over one million new cases of all types of skin cancer are diagnosed annually. Some suggestions for sun
worshipers or casual "out of doors" activity seekers include applying sun- screen several times during the day, wearing protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses and minimizing sun exposure between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. Hydrate your skin internally by drinking lots of fluids.
Here is some information about the deadliest form of skin cancer Melanoma.
One American dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 61 minutes). In 2009, 8,650 deaths will be attributed to melanoma — 5,550 men and 3,100 women.1
Melanoma is increasing faster in females 15-29 years old than males in the same age group. In females 15-29 years old, the torso is the most common location for developing mela- noma, which might be due to high-risk tanning behaviors.
Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in females age 15-29.10
About 7% of melanoma cases diagnosed in 2014 happened in people 34 and younger, the soci- ety says.