Doctors caution public on heat-related diseases this summer

Bicol Medical Center. Photo courtesy
Bicol Medical Center. Photo courtesy

NAGA CITY (20-March-12/PIA) – As the summer season officially starts this month, several diseases brought about by the hot summer season will also come with it.

Bicol Medical Center (BMC) Chief Efren Nerva, anticipating the occurrence of summer-related ailments, told media that this year’s theme, “Malusog, Masaya, tara ng magbakasyon, alamin ang dapat gawin, kalikasan ay isipin,” aims to warn the public on how to evade the occurrence of these maladies this coming summer.

On top of the list is heat stroke. Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia where body temperature shoots up. This, according to the doctors, is a medical emergency and should not be taken for granted, since it can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Dr. Felipe Pio, BMC Information Officer said that cooling the victim is a critical step in regaining the normal temperature of the victim. Avoiding dehydration should also be observed and participation in vigorous physical activities should be limited.

Prone to this condition are infants, the elderly, athletes and field workers who work under the sun. To avoid this, the doctor advises to bring a bottle of water and sun shields like umbrellas or hat. It is also not advisable to give caffeinated drinks, like softdrinks and tea as they will aggravate the dehydration of the victim. Light colored dress or garments are also advisable.

Aside from heatstroke, heat rash is also one of the most common heat-related illnesses. The red cluster or small blisters can cause discomfort to the victim such as skin irritation which is usually caused by excessive sweating being normally experienced during hot and humid temperature.

Mary Jane G. Uy, MD, MPH Chief of Medical Professional also answered queries on using sun protection like utilizing products that contains zinc oxide. Zinx Oxide is a white powder that is insoluble in water.

“It is present in products, mostly in baby powders and barrier creams to treat diaper rashes and is not only effective as sunscreens but also environmentally-safe,” Uy added.

The hot weather condition is also being seen as the culprit in asthma attacks, particularly in kids. Symptoms usually include severe wheezing when breathing both in and out, chest pain or pressure, uneasy feeling, running nose, head ache and excessive sneezing among others.

The Bicol Medical Center, through its out-patient department advices those who are suffering from asthma to visit the hospital or the nearest health centers in their area for an asthma action plan so as not to aggravate the condition of the patient. (PIA)

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