Seasonal Advice to follow
- Start with nothing less than a SPF30 sunscreen. If you feel the need for a deeper tan, decrease the number of the sun block as the days go by. You don't want to ruin your vacation with a nasty sunburn.
- Remember to apply the lotion at least 15 minutes before going into the sun and to re-apply after swimming. A wide brimmed hat or baseball cap can also help to protect your face.
- Be careful between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. That's when the sun's rays are strongest.
- Beware of cloudy days. Clouds don't block UV rays, you can still get burned.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. They are tiny, with orange-brown coloration, a black spot near the head, and found on all types of vegetation and animals, especially in the woods.
A Wood Tick is twice the size, or more, of a Deer Tick, and is very unlikely to transmit Lyme Disease. They are dark brown or black with white marks near the head. Both ticks are most active in the spring and fall, and present throughout the summer.
Wear long sleeves and pants. An insect repellent such as Deep Wood OFF! can help repel ticks. Brush off clothing and pets before going inside. Check yourself and pets carefully for ticks. Remove attached tick at once with fine-jaw tweezers by grasping tick's head as close to skin as possible and gently pulling straight out. Be careful not to squeeze tick's body as this may cause it to inject fluid into you. Wash bite area and apply antiseptic.
A ring-shaped rash may occur within 4-20 days. Symptoms may include fever, chills, headache, stiffness in the joints, weakness and fatigue. Common symptoms of Lyme Disease may mimic arthritis. In some cases there are no symptoms.
If detected early, Lyme Disease is usually treatable with antibiotics.
Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac
Poison ivy, oak and poison sumac plants can cause a severe skin reaction when the oil from the leaves comes in direct contact with the skin or contacts the skin indirectly by a contaminated object such as clothing. A red, bumpy, itchy rash may appear as early as a few hours or as late as 2 weeks after exposure. Generally the rash can last 10 days to 4 weeks. Swelling, blistering and oozing may also occur.
Destroy poisonous plants growing around your living area with chemical treatments or by physical removal. Never burn poison ivy, oak, or sumac! When walking in fields or wooded areas, wear long pants, socks and long-sleeved shirts. Wash all clothing as soon as possible. Learn to identify poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
Cleanse the area well with soap and cool water, rinse and dry with a clean towel. Clean beneath your fingernails as plant oils can cause the spread of poison ivy. Bathe in an oatmeal bath such as Aveeno Bath Treatment to help ease skin discomfort. Topical skin products such as calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream can be used, and other medications may be prescribed by your doctor. Take Benadryl to decrease itching and try not to scratch the rash as that can increase the risk of it getting infected.
If the rash is severe or involves the eyes, face, or genitalia, return to the Health Center for treatment.
Travel Tips for Good Health
Before you leave
- Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for advice specific to your destination. Look for the "Traveler's Health" section.
- Get appropriate immunizations. All travelers should have a tetanus booster within 10 years, and a Hepatitis A shot for trips to all countries other than Western Europe, Canada, and Japan. These vaccines are available at the Health and Wellness Center.
- Have a dental check-up if you'll be traveling for 3 months or more.
- Pack an adequate supply of your prescription medications.
- Pack a travel kit of over-the-counter medicines you might need, and include bandages and antibiotic ointment.
While you're away
- Avoid excess sun exposure. Wear sun block and a hat for protection.
- Take time to acclimatize to high altitudes by limiting strenuous exercise and drinking plenty of fluids.
- Protect against insect bites using DEET-containing repellent, long-sleeves, and long pants.
- To avoid contaminated food and water, stick to bottled beverages and well-cooked food. Eat only fresh fruits and vegetables you can peel yourself. Avoid food from street vendors.
- To avoid disease-causing parasites that may live in soil or water, wear shoes and don't swim in fresh water.
Other Seasonal Health Advice
Ways of Preventing the Flu
If you are unable or choose not to receive the flu vaccine:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home and do not attend classes if you are sick
- Clean your hands frequently
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Consult with your doctor about the use of anitviral medications if you do become ill with the flu