Respiratory illness a top health concern during summer
Respiratory diseases rank the highest among the most common communicable diseases contracted in the summer season and during traveling.
The startling disclosure was made during the health awareness campaign for this summer hosted by the Media and Health Awareness National Center of the Ministry of Health, here recently.
Speaking at the summer awareness program, senior health expert Amal Abu Al-Jadayel said: “The most common communicable diseases picked up in summer and during traveling are those transmitted by the respiratory system, such as inhaling the secretions in the spray released by a patient who has a cough or breathing problems, or by using his handkerchief or bedcovers.”
Dr. Al-Jadayel pointed out that these communicable diseases are also transmitted by contaminated food or water. “Typhoid fever, Brucellosis (an infectious disease caused by the Brucella bacteria) and Hepatitis-A are some examples,” she said.
“We also have to beware of blood-transmitted diseases such as Hepatitis-B and AIDS as a result of using contaminated syringes or having illicit sexual relationships,” she cautioned.
She went on to explain that people contract communicable diseases are triggered when microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites find their way into the human body through contact with an infected person, from animals or insects or due to ingestion of contaminated food or water.
During the program, Dr. Al-Jadayel also took questions and provided medical tips and guidelines on summer illnesses, particularly communicable diseases and ways of dealing with them as well as their prevention.
In response to a question about the prevention of infection, Dr. Jadayel advised on strengthening the body’s immune system by following a healthy lifestyle, adopting a balanced diet, exercising in addition to maintaining a healthy weight.
She further recommended embracing personal hygiene such as washing hands with soap and water before preparing and eating food and after using the toilet or following contact with a patient’s personal items or his/her secretions.
She also underlined the necessity of keeping the environment clean, ventilating homes, as well as disposing of the waste and sewage water safely to prevent communicable diseases during summer.
She further underscored the importance of controlling insects and rodents, such as flies, mosquitoes and rats, maintaining clean and healthy sources of food and water, as well as using tissues while coughing, sneezing or spitting, in order to prevent the spread of infection.
She also warned people against visiting overcrowded places and mingling with people with infectious diseases and sharing personal items which can penetrate the skin, such as needles, razors or toothbrushes and which are likely to be contaminated.