How to Avoid Getting Sick This Summer

This article is republished from The Conversation beneath a Creative Commons license.

As flowers bloom and temperatures climb, many are wanting to get again outdoors. But whereas the solar could also be shining, there’s a darkish aspect that may make the nice outside not so nice.

Gangs of germs are lurking within the woods, within the soil, within the water, and in your meals, able to rain in your summer time parade.

I’m a professor of microbiology on the Indiana University School of Medicine, the place I examine and train about infectious illness. Here are some issues to remember that can assist you and your family members keep freed from sickness whereas having fun with summer time actions.

Germs within the Backyard

There’s nothing just like the odor of an excellent barbecue and contemporary goodies from your individual backyard. To be certain individuals depart your social gathering with solely good recollections, pay attention to germs generally linked to meals poisoning, which can lead to diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever.

Meats, together with fish and poultry, usually home dangerous micro organism resembling Salmonella, E. coli, or Listeria. Raw meat can contaminate something it touches, so be sure you wash your fingers and disinfect surfaces and utensils. To keep away from cross contamination, don’t preserve raw meat close to ready meals. Meat merchandise have to be cooked to correct temperatures to make sure dangerous germs are destroyed earlier than consuming.

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Washing cooking utensils that contact uncooked meat can scale back cross contamination.

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In addition to micro organism, a parasite referred to as Toxoplasma gondii may cause acute meals poisoning. Toxoplasma parasites are shed as microscopic oocysts within the feces of contaminated cats. Oocysts persist within the setting for a yr or extra, and different animals, together with individuals, can inadvertently ingest them.

Upon an infection, Toxoplasma kinds tissue cysts within the flesh of meals animals—another excuse to cook dinner your meats totally. Pregnant individuals have to take particular care in avoiding Toxoplasma, because the parasite can cross the placenta and trigger miscarriage or delivery defects.

To keep away from getting toxoplasmosis from oocysts, individuals ought to put on gloves whereas gardening, wash vegatables and fruits, and ensure the sandbox is freed from cat poop and coated when not in use.

Germs within the Water

Recreational water services resembling swimming pools, water parks, and fountains are a good way to beat the summer time warmth. The odor of chlorine is an effective signal that the water is being handled to kill many sorts of germs.

Unfortunately, some germs can stay infectious in chlorine for a number of minutes or days, which is loads of time to unfold from one particular person to a different. These embrace viruses resembling norovirus, micro organism resembling E. coli, and parasites resembling Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

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