Protect yourself this summer

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Health Reporter

THE rain season always comes with mixed fortunes.
For some, it heralds the planting season and brings in a cold breeze after a hot streak.
However, it is also a season that most diseases spread.
With local doctors arguing for higher consultation fees in hospitals, the adage that prevention is better than cure becomes one that must be religiously adhered to.
Our rains fall in the summer, a time when we have many flying insects like mosquitoes and house flies.
Although many of us know that flies are one of natures’ health hazards, many have stopped to consider them potentially harmful to one’s health.
Houseflies’ frequent dung heaps and other faecal sources as well as decaying matter including dead animals.
When landing on food that is prepared for human consumption, contaminated material is often transferred.
Flies make their home wherever people are.
House flies are not biting flies instead they vomit digestive juices that are harmful to humans.
They leave behind bacteria that cause diarrhoea, cholera and food poisoning.
Summer also brings in the worst cases of colds and flu.
Summer colds tend to be more intense than common colds of winter.
The symptoms can linger for several days as summer colds typically run for about 10 days.
Summer colds are associated with frequent fluctuation in the temperature.
The summer season can be a dangerous time for kids and adults with asthma.
There are more high pollen levels in the air as it is the time for blooming flowers and the air conditioners or fans in the workplace or home cause an increase in asthma attacks.
Food poisoning is more common in this season.
Bacterium that causes food poisoning grows faster and multiplies more rapidly in hot and humid weather.
This also explains why stomach ailments increase.
Food left out of refrigeration for more than two hours may not be safe to eat.
Some medical practitioners have reported a high ear infection rate during summer.
The canal leading from the eardrum to the outside of the ear is called the outer ear.
Immediately behind the eardrum is the middle ear, either area can become infected.
Usually middle ear infections occur in the winter while outer ear infections are more common in the summer.
The rain season is also time for a wide variety of mushrooms.
Although they are found throughout the year this is the season where almost every vendor on the street is selling different varieties while some go into the veld for mushroom hunting.
Hence the mushroom hunters need to be well aware that edibility or toxicity of some species with geographic location.
However, cultivated mushrooms are safe.
So while summer symbolises fun and freedom it also means one should protect oneself.

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