Take precautions against common summer ailments New Delhi, 29th April, 2016: With the temperature touching 42 degrees Celsius, it is important to take necessary precautions against common summer diseases like heat stroke, dehydration, flu, chicken pox and diarrhoea. Raising awareness, Dr SS Agarwal – National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal – President Heart Care Foundation of India and Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “Summer months can cause health complications especially for high-risk patients including the elderly, young children and those suffering from lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. It is thus important that necessary preventive steps are taken. It is important to drink water at regular intervals even when not thirsty. Heart patients must stay indoors during peak summer hours since the heart has to work harder in the heat to pump blood to the surface of the skin to help keep the body cool and an over-exertion can be fatal. Food items have a tendency to get spoilt very fast in the heat and thus, junk and street food should be avoided. Wearing a summer friendly wardrobe is important to help keep the body cool.” A few illness common during the summer months include: • Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. A person who has suffered a heat stroke requires emergency treatment for if left untreated; it can damage several organs in a person’s body. It can also be life-threatening for patients with existing lifestyle diseases. Drinking fluids on a regular basis, limiting exposure to heat, wearing clothing that allows evaporative cooling, and recognising the early warning signs of heat cramps and heat exhaustion can prevent a Heat stroke. • Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If the lost fluids are not replaced, a person gets dehydrated. Common causes of dehydration include vigorous exercise, especially in hot weather; intense diarrhoea; vomiting; fever or excessive sweating. Not drinking enough water during exercise or in hot weather even if you're not exercising also may cause dehydration. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk. It is thus important to ensure adequate fluid consumption during the summer months. • The incidence of chicken pox and measles increases during the summer months. The reason being that the virus spreads faster in the heat. It is thus important that all those who have not got chicken pox should take the vaccination • Urinary tract infection is also a common problem that affects children and adults alike. During the summer months, many women do not realise that their body is getting dehydrated and so do not drink enough water making themselves vulnerable to infection • Water scarcity is a common problem during the summer months due to its overuse. Because of this, the authorities are often forced to supply water from different sources to meet the increased demand. This can compromise water quality increasing the levels of dissolved impurities like Arsenic, Rust, Pesticides, Fluorides, etc. in the water and causing diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid and other related infections. It is thus important to boil water before consumption.