MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Department of Health (DOH) advised the public to be mindful of their health during the summer season’s flurry of activities, starting with the Holy Week observance, followed by outings, fiestas, and the like.
“This year, the Holy Week signals the start of summer vacation activities, thus, we are urging the public to keep themselves healthy and fit in the midst of their busyness,” Health Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin said.
Garin revealed that there are six 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.[pq]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.[/pq]
Hand washing can limit its spread. Health experts advise not to use eye drops without consulting a doctor.
Sunburn can be prevented if you hold your outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid direct exposure to sun between 10am-2pm. Hide in the shade or seek cool places to prevent the 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 it 30 minutes before actual sun exposure. Re-apply if exposure will be extended and do not forget the ears, nape areas and feet.
Heat stroke is a more serious consequence of too much exposure to sun. This can be avoided by drinking 8-12 glasses of water a day. Holy Week penitents can also benefit from these tips.
Sipon at ubo easily spreads even during the summer months, as erratic weather bring sudden downpours from time to time. Senior citizens are advised to get vaccinated against influenza before the flu season begins in June.
Suka at tae follows the consumption of contaminated food or drinks. Be cautious of street foods and also those prepared for out-of-town trips. Remember that food spoils easily during the hot summer months. Always have oral rehydration salt solution ready in case one suffers diarrhea. Seek early consultation to prevent severe dehydration.
Sakit sa balat is another common summer disease in areas where water becomes scarce and that daily bathing is compromised. Usually, inmates in crowded prisons suffer boils due to heat and congestion.
Also, 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 properly. Make sure dogs are vaccinated against rabies. If you sustain dog bites, visit the animal bite center to get rabies vaccination immediately.
Summer is also a time for vacation and travel. The health chief also reminded the public to follow simple road safety tips like do not call or text while driving, do not drink alcoholic beverages if you will drive, do not drive if you are sleepy, always wear seatbelt, and always follow traffic rules especially speed limits. For those riding motorcycles or bicycles, always wear your helmet.
“Remember to keep yourself healthy and safe. Let us all have an enjoyable, disease-free, and injury-free summer. May papel tayong pangalagaan ang ating kalusugan” Garin concluded.