Urgent Care: Sharing Summer Sickness Facts
As the flu and common colds are to the fall and winter months so are enteroviruses to the late spring and summer months. More specifically, enteroviruses commonly cause problems for people who choose to swim in contaminated water. Today, our CareXpress Urgent Care team is sharing some information about what causes enterovirus infections and what you can do to prevent them.
According to the CDC, 10 to 15 million infections are caused by enterovirus in the United States on an annual basis. Of course, no one purposely chooses to go swimming in infected waters. It’s just one of the risks involved when swimming in natural waters like the ocean, a river, or a lake. Most of the problem is caused by fecal contamination in the water and often times when children are swimming it becomes inevitable that someone will accidentally swallow up some water, causing the illness to spread.
The terrible truth is that once one family member has the enterovirus disease, it can spread very easily to the entire household. Others can get the disease simply by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them and then transferring the virus by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Symptoms can range from appearing to be just like a very basic common cold to people becoming very sick with infections that impact the heart or brain. In very extreme circumstances, paralyzation can occur.
Unfortunately, there is not a vaccine yet created for our urgent care doctors to utilize, so we can’t help protect against enterovirus infections. The only ways to prevent you and your family from becoming ill include taking some precautions. Wash your hans often with soap and water, avoid contact with those who are sick, and routinely disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Our urgent care staff would also ask you to make wise decisions about where you and your family will go swimming this summer. If you are unfamiliar with a particular area, do some research or reconsider choosing a cleaner, public swimming pool.