Warning raised vs rising temps
MANILA, Philippines—With temperatures starting to rise, the Department of Health (DOH) has cautioned the public about heat stroke and other diseases commonly acquired during summer.
In a press briefing, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the summer season could be fun, but it could also cause many health problems.
He said among the common diseases associated with summer is heat stroke, which occurs when the body overheats due to the hot and humid weather and too much exposure to the sun.
Too much heat exposure can trigger dehydration, weakness, headache and fatigue, and sometimes increased respiratory rate, said Ona.
To avoid heat stroke, he advised the public to drink lots of water and avoid physical activity for long periods of time under the sun.
Ona also issued a warning on the six most common summer diseases or conditions, dubbed “6S.” These are: vomiting and diarrhea, sore eyes or conjunctivitis, sunburn, colds and cough, skin diseases, and dog bites.
“To avoid sunburn, use sunscreen lotion appropriately,” Ona said, adding that the advisable sunscreen should have at least 30 SPF (sun protection factor) applied 30 minutes before actual sun exposure and reapplied if sun exposure is extended.
“Outdoor activities must be done in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Hide in the shade or seek cool places to prevent the ill effects of too much sun exposure,” he said.
Eating street food or any food that is contaminated, including those prepared for out-of-town trips, may cause diarrhea. Ona said that it was important to be extra cautious because food spoils easily during the hot summer months.
He also warned those who want to enjoy swimming in pools, stressing that skin diseases abound when one swims in dirty water or poorly maintained 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,” he said.
Sore eyes or conjunctivitis, according to him, can lead to blindness if mistreated.
“More than just eye irritation, it can easily be due to harmful bacteria or viruses that easily spread to other people. Hand-washing can limit its spread,” Ona said, adding that eye drops should not be used without consulting a doctor.
Coughs and cold are also common during this time of the year and Ona attributes this to the erratic weather.
The DOH is monitoring suspected cases infected with new coronavirus. To date, the World Health Organization already reported 16 cases with nine deaths.
The new corona virus infection is characterized by respiratory symptoms with progressive respiratory difficulty.
“Remember to wash your hands frequently, and to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Better still, stay at home when you are sick. Our airports will continue to screen travelers as a routine precaution to prevent the spread of diseases that may spread internationally,” Ona said.
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