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Thursday, June 21, 2018

What summer illnesses should I look out for — and how can I prevent them?

Posted By: Advancing Care

Heatstroke poses a danger to athletes and people who work outdoors, and the key to prevention is staying hydrated. “Power drinks are beneficial, but there’s nothing better than good old-fashioned water or salt tablets,” says George Cox, MD, internal medicine physician at Bon Secours Medical Group, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth).

Ticks, which can cause Lyme disease, are another constant threat in this area. “Wear long trousers and put on DEET repellent,” says Dr. Cox. “If you see a tick and believe you were exposed less than 48 hours earlier, you’re pretty safe having them removed.” Have a friend or family member examine your skin closely. “Not everyone who has Lyme disease gets the telltale ‘bull’s-eye’ rash.” Also, get tested for ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, other tick-borne illnesses that can be even worse than Lyme.

Food poisoning is often caused “from bacteria growing in foods that have been left in the sun too long,” says Dr. Cox. Luckily, it’s a “self-limiting illness,” meaning you’ll eventually get the toxins out of your system through vomiting or diarrhea. “Keeping Imodium handy can help.”

Do you have a health-related question for a WMCHealth physician or specialist? Email your questions to [email protected], with “Just the Facts” in the subject heading. Your question may be featured in a future issue.