Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Did You Know - 2nd Edition!

Did You Know?

Here’s part 2 of our series on what you need to know about bug borne illnesses especially if you are traveling to areas that are known to have these diseases.

We all know that mosquito bites cause itchy bumps but they can also be responsible for a number of illnesses. Mosquitoes are known to transmit West Nile virus, Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya as well as Yellow fever and Malaria through their bites. Some of these illnesses previously just seen in other countries are now being seen in the continental United States.

What are the symptoms of some of these illnesses seen most frequently in the US?
West Nile Virus – A majority of people have no symptoms at all. A small number may develop fever, headache, body aches and joint pain. Most people recover completely. A few may have weakness and fatigue that lasts for weeks or months.  As few as 1 % may develop more serious neurological issues.
Zika – Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes. Pregnant women are at risk of passing on serious birth defects to their unborn child. Zika can also be passed through sex from an infected individual to their partners. Symptoms generally resolve quickly in most people.
Dengue – Most people who are infected have mild to no symptoms. A small number will develop fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, join pain and rash.
Chikungunya – Sudden onset of high fever, headache, joint pain and swelling or rash are among the most common symptoms. Most patients completely recover but pain can last in some people.

How do you protect yourself?
Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are known to bite
Wear long sleeves and long pants
Use an insect repellent that is right for you.

What do you do if you plan to travel to a country where mosquito borne illness is an issue? Learn about the possible health related risks and advice from the CDC by visiting: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

You can also schedule a travel consult visit with Student Health Services at 516-463-6745 or see a private travel doctor.

To find a repellent that is right for you: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you

Monday, June 26, 2017

Did You Know - Part 1

Did You Know?

As it is getting warmer you may realize you are no longer alone outside.  It’s bug season! Gnats, ants, mosquitoes and ticks are everywhere. Here’s part 1 of what you need to know to about the bug borne illnesses and how to prevent them.

Ticks are responsible for transmitting a number of different diseases. The most common tick borne illness in the eastern part of the US is Lyme disease which is spread primarily by deer ticks. Approximately 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported nationwide each year. Those infected may present with a red ring-like rash (but not always), flu-like symptoms (fever, malaise, headaches and muscle aches) and enlarge lymph glands in the early stages. If untreated Lyme disease can lead to cardiac, rheumatologic and neurological symptoms. 
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid tick bites all together. How do you do that?
·       Avoid wooded and high grass areas when possible by staying in the middle of cleared well-traveled trails and don’t sit directly on the ground or on stone walls
·       Wear light colored clothing to spot ticks easily and tuck in your clothes especially your pants into your socks
·       Check for ticks on your whole body daily after being outdoors
·       Bathe or shower within 2 hours after being outdoors
·       Consider using insect repellent with DEET, parcaridin, permethrin or IR3535
·       Treat dogs or cats who are outside
·       Put your clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes on high heat
Have a question about a tick bite? Call your healthcare provider or Student Health Services at 516 463-6745.

More information on preventing tick bites: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Did You Know?????

Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States and is, in most cases, preventable. As many as 90% of melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are directly related to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. The rates of new cases of melanoma has doubled since 1982.
How do you protect yourself? Reduce your risk factors! A base tan is not a healthy tan!

  • Do not use any kind of indoor tanning. Indoor tanning increases your risk for developing skin cancer especially if you do it at an earlier age.

  • Do use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher when outdoors even on cloudy days and reapply per manufacturer’s directions but at least every 2 hours. Wearing a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses also offers you additional protection.

  • Do limit your time in the sun. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10-2pm even when it’s cloudy.

  • You can still get burned when you are in the water so use a sunscreen and reapply more frequently. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen so reapply as directed by the manufacturer.

Remember tanned skin is damaged skin!