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DOH warns public on summer diseases

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

CORON, Palawan, Philippines – With the temperature starting to heat up, the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday warned the public against “summer diseases.”

Health Assistant Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the most common illnesses of summer are sore eyes and heat stroke.

“We can avoid sore eyes by constant hand washing. Ideally, wash your hands 20 times a day, especially before eating and after coming out of the comfort room,” Ubial said.

She said through constant and proper hand washing, one could prevent contracting other diseases as well.

Described by the DOH website as “viral (in) origin and self-limiting,” sore eyes is the common term for an inflammation of the thin covering of the eyeball and the inner eyelid. It is highly contagious.

Its symptoms include redness, smear and burning or gritty sensation, and water-like discharge in the eyes. One may also feel like the eyes are glued together, particularly upon waking up. Sometimes, a person with sore eyes also has a runny nose and sore throat.

The DOH also advises against touching the eyes and face with dirty hands, sharing of personal things like towels, eyeglasses, make-up, and reusing of handkerchief.

To fight off heat stroke, Ubial said a person should use or wear protective gear like long sleeved clothes, umbrella and hats.

“Rehydration is also important during summer. You have to drink not just the usual eight glasses of water, but at least 12 glasses a day,” she said.

The DOH described heat stroke as the “most severe form of heat illness when the body overheats and can’t cool down.”

The risk of heat stroke is high during hot and humid weather, vigorous exercise in hot weather, dehydration, and too much exposure to the sun.

The symptoms of heat stroke include heat exhaustion, warm or flushed skin, faintness, dizziness, weakness and headache.

This may progress into emergency condition when there is a fever of 41ºC, rapid heartbeat, convulsion, delirium, and loss of consciousness.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

DOH

EYES

HEALTH ASSISTANT SECRETARY PAULYN UBIAL

HEAT

SORE

STROKE

SUMMER

UBIAL

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