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7 Common Illnesses to Avoid During Summer

By Nikhil Mehta, 9:00 am on

While winter is commonly known as cold and flu season, summer also presents a fair share of ailments that seniors should be mindful of. By knowing which illnesses can occur during warm weather, caregivers in Palm Desert can ensure that elderly loved ones remain protected and healthy. 

1. West Nile Virus

The mosquito-borne ailment is now common across the United States. Symptoms associated with West Nile Virus range from mild to debilitating. Before seniors venture outdoors, make sure that they are protected by applying strong mosquito repellent and lighting citronella candles to deter the pesky insects from swarming the area. 

2. Food Poisoning

Warmer temperatures indoors and out encourages rapid bacteria growth in any food left out of the fridge, thereby increasing the chance of contracting food poisoning. Prevent the problem by ensuring that foods are promptly stored in refrigerators or iced coolers immediately after serving. 

3. Enterovirus

The fecal-based microbe lurks in streams, lakes and rivers. The virus is commonly spread by either hand-to-mouth transmission or when coming in contact with an infected person. Proper hand washing prior to eating or after swimming is vital. Palm Desert live-in caregivers should also keep seniors a distance away from individuals who are noticeably ill. 

4. Norovirus

This contagious microbe is transmitted when people consume contaminated food or water. Unsuspecting individuals can also come in contact with the Norovirus from hand-to-mouth or person-to-person transmission. Hand washing is important to prevent the gastric illness associated with this bug. 

5. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Ticks may be infected with the bacteria that cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Individuals typically exhibit symptoms anywhere from two to 14 days after being bitten by an infected tick. Seniors should wear slacks, sturdy shoes or boots, and insect repellent before going outdoors. 

6. Lyme Disease

Another bacterial infection caused by infected ticks is Lyme disease. The best prevention involves wearing slacks and applying insect repellent, though it’s also wise for seniors to avoid hiking or picnicking in wooded areas where ticks typically live.

7. Whooping Cough

Contrary to popular belief, whooping cough is on the rise. Seniors who have not already been vaccinated should schedule an appointment with a doctor to get the necessary shot. Additionally, caregivers can help by encouraging good hygiene habits.

Brush up on ways to protect your loved one from illness this summer by calling Home Care Assistance at (760) 345-0001. As a leading Palm Desert elder care agency, we provide flexible live-in and hourly home care that promotes longevity, vitality, and overall wellbeing. Learn how we can help your loved one when you speak with a reliable Care Manager today.