As The Weather Channel revealed, summer 2016 will mean higher-than-normal temperatures for much of the U.S., with the heat wave kicking off in May. For many families, these high temperatures are a great excuse to head out on vacation or spend their free time lounging by the pool. And though many fun-filled activities have obvious safety concerns, there is one summertime danger that often goes unnoticed: diseases that appear only during these extra hot months. Here are three such ailments you should watch out for this summer:
"Some fungi and bacteria flourish in the warm temperatures of summer."
1. Lyme disease
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is spread through the bites of blacklegged ticks. The ticks lay their eggs in the springtime, and they hatch just in time for the arrival of summer. Symptoms of the disease can emerge between three and 30 days after a bite and include fever, headaches, fatigue and a rash. If left untreated, the bacteria can spread into the joints and heart, causing often irreversible harm. Most ticks tend to bite people in hard-to-see areas (i.e. the groin or armpit), which makes physical detection important. Luckily, if found early, Lyme disease can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics. To avoid Lyme disease in the first place, stay clear of dense, grassy areas with limited visibility.
2. Coxsackie virus
Sometimes referred to as Coxsackievirus, this unique ailment is an enterovirus. As the American Academy of Pediatrics explained, these cause respiratory illness, but most infections aren't life threatening. However, as eMedicineHealth pointed out, the Coxsackie virus does have a number of complications, including an immunity to stomach acid and the ability to live on surfaces for an extended period. Because of these, there are no drugs to destroy the virus; the Mayo Clinic suggested plenty of fluids, bed rest and pain relief meds as a viable treatment. The common symptoms of the Coxsackie virus include headache, joint pain, sore throat, rash and fever. Coxsackie can also cause hand, foot and mouth disease.
3. Valley fever
Some diseases not only proliferate in summer, but impact one specific area. The University of Arizona explained that Valley fever is especially prevalent in the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. It's caused by the fungus Coccidioides, which thrives in the soil of especially arid regions. When inhaled by a person, Coccidioides causes pulmonary issues – like coughing and chest pain – that many doctors have said is almost exactly like pneumonia. Other symptoms include fever, rash, stiff neck, loss of appetite and joint aches. The University of Arizona explained that most people infected with Valley fever are never aware and that if you've never had the fever before, there's an annual risk of three percent.
The most effective way to avoid this potentially harmful diseases is to ensure your entire family is up-to -date on immunizations and to seek out medical help when you display symptoms. Fortunately, you can accomplish both by visiting your local CareWell Urgent Care Center. With locations across the East Coast, CareWell can provide the diagnostic assistance that you and your family can rely on.