With the arrival of summer, everyone is on vacation. However, it is essential to take precautions against summer infections so that your sea and pool enjoyment does not turn into a nightmare! Liv Hospital Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Specialist Prof. Dr. Dilek Arman talked about summer infections that threaten health. “The summer months, especially due to the increase in ambient temperature, facilitate the reproduction of bacterial microbes. For this reason, there is an increase in bacterial infections in higher temperatures.
Gastrointestinal infections: With the increase in ambient temperature, microbes can easily pass through the stomach and cause illness in foods that are not stored at the appropriate temperature. It manifests itself mostly with diarrhea and vomiting. One of the main reasons here is that with excess fluid intake, the amount of acid in our stomach is diluted, thus reducing the protective effect of stomach acid, which is an important barrier that allows bacteria to be killed. On the other hand, with the increase in the ambient temperature, there may be errors in the food that should be stored at the appropriate temperature. In this way, the microbes that multiply on the food can easily pass through the stomach and cause illness, since the acid already dilutes a little in the stomach.
Infections related to water sports: If there is no proper chlorination in the pools, infections such as superficial skin infections, eye infections and outer ear infections, tiny inflammations of the hair follicle on the skin can be seen. In terms of coronavirus transmission, the distance rule should not be ignored.
Eye infections: Inappropriate use of chlorine-based substances causes irritations, corneal surface defects and weakening of the eye's defense system. Symptoms include burring, redness, blurred vision, itching, burning and stinging.
Digestive system infections: A wide variety of viruses and bacteria, including Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Salmonella, Shigella, E. Coli (Tourist's diarrhea), can survive for a long time in pools where water circulation and chlorination are insufficient.
Genital area and urinary tract infections: It is mostly caused by pools with unsuitable conditions. It manifests itself with symptoms such as burning during urination, frequent urination, low back and groin pain, pain in the genital area, itching and discharge. Genital warts can also be transmitted from pools.
Skin infections and fungi: Pool water with excessive amounts of chlorine may cause skin irritation in some sensitive individuals. Skin diseases such as scabies and impetigo can also be transmitted from unhygienic environments or unclean towels.
External ear infections and sinusitis: External ear infections are caused by bacteria that love the watery environment, and sometimes fungi. It causes severe ear pain, ear discharge and hearing loss, itching and, in advanced cases, swelling and redness in the ear.
Pneumonia: Legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia that can result from environments where central air conditioners are used, is also among summer infections.
FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS, PROTECT FROM INFECTIONS
- Do not enter pools where you think that chlorination and water circulation are not sufficient.
- Be careful not to swallow any water in the pool. Do not chew gum while swimming, especially when chewing gum, as water can be swallowed.
- Prefer facilities with separate children's pools and adult pools.
- Do not sit for a long time in a wet swimsuit, be sure to dry it.
- Prefer facilities where feet are washed with antiseptic solutions before entering the pool area, where it is mandatory to take a shower and use a swimming cap before entering the pool.
- After getting out of the pool, take a shower and get rid of possible germs and excess chlorine and wear clean clothes.
- Dry off as soon as you get out of the pool. Because humidity is very important in the development of some bacteria, infections such as scabies and fungi.
- Avoid swimming in the pool if you have an active ear infection or have a tube inserted in your ear.
- In terms of eye infections, it is useful to minimize contact with pool water and to use swimming goggles for this purpose.