Airborne Diseases: ’Tis the Season!
June 07th, 2005
By Stal Herz
Perhaps there is not the same excitement level you may have had back when
the start of summer meant no school for two months and trips to the local
pool and, perhaps, a first summer romance. No, this is now the time when
maybe you have squeezed away just enough to take a summer getaway to free
yourself from the stress of life and allow your body a chance to breathe.
e you pack your bags and start making animated lines on the map, the
change in the climate brings about a new health threat. Airborne diseases
and viruses are at an alarmingly increased level of possibility during the
warmer months of spring and summer.
While the American health care system has done an amazing job staving off
infections such as the ones infiltrating Africa (See the recent news of the
Ebola Virus that has resurfaced in Angola), there are a number of other
threatening viruses that are spread by insects (West Niles) in these
upcoming months. It is important to protect and educate yourself before
a sickness sets in.
You need to do more than just put up a mosquito net and spray repellent on
you and your loved ones.
If you have any unopened containers of stale water either laying around or
outside of your house, you need to dispose of them or cover them tightly.
Open, moist areas are not only a breeding ground for mold and mildew, but
for mosquitoes as well.
These months bring about an elevated alert of West Nile Virus as well as
mutations of similar diseases. You can bet that since it has been around
for some years now, there are new strands that are becoming stronger with
each generation of the virus.
A dirty sink is a breading ground for disease, not only attracting mosquitoes,
but ants and roaches as well. As it heats up more outside, bugs will crawl
in to structures looking for food and a cooler place to live. If you have
dishes with food particles on them lying around in your kitchen, infections
you don’t even realize are there can become airborne in your house, causing
you sickness or severe fatigue.
The Airborne transmission of a disease occurs when a large amount of dust or
pollen is present in the air and acts as a carrier that causes a virus to
spread. With the increase in sensitivity to allergies for the spring and
summer season the infection window opens even wider.
When someone blows their nose, coughs, sneezes or even laughs, they let out
little drops moisture that can easily travel through the air and spread
disease quickly. These drops of moisture settle on the millions of dust
particles that are lying dormant on your floor or in your carpet and get
kicked up into the air and into your body.
During the aftermath of floods or earthquakes, much of the death toll comes
from infections that travel in the form of airborne diseases created by lack
of proper sanitation.
Spring cleaning just got a little more important.
Lat week we discussed the dangers of mold spores becoming airborne and
spreading infection. We received so much attention to that that we decided
to expand on the dangers that exist around your house and possibly your
work area to keep you from being healthy and productive. Often times
finding out about a disease is done when it is already too late because it
has already settled in and taken hold of your system.
This time, when taking care of your spring cleaning, you may want to throw
away your old bedding or linens, as dust mites tend to live inside fabrics
or materials that develop moisture and sweat. These are the perfect
conditions for the spread of disease.
So then, how can you protect yourself from diseases that are constantly in
the air? Make sure you are keeping your immune system at high levels with
plenty of vitamin C and exercise. Coffee, alcohol and smoking in the summer
carry an increased risk level because there are a greater number of hazards
flying around in the air.
You should be on code orange because viruses are mutating in an attempt to
penetrate your body and make you sick. It is their nature. They are
looking for a feeding source, so if your immune system is weak, it becomes
easier to attack.
Build up the inside of your body and keep your home clean. It may do more
than just give you a fresh outlook for the summertime - It could make
the difference between a vacation and sick leave.
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