22 infectious diseases that are becoming an increasing concern in the summer of 2018

There is an increasing health concern for infectious diseases in the United States this year in 2018 as temperatures rise in the summer.  Heat, humidity, precipitation, and drought in the summer can create a favorable environment for these diseases that are increasing and being monitored by the CDC.

Summer is supposed to be the most fun of all the seasons and still can be with the right information and preventative measures.  There are also some extra precautions to take during summertime weather.  Hurricane season is ramping up and has some surprising health effects after the destruction has passed.

Foodborne illnesses

Foodborne illnesses are the most commonly talked about probably because they are the easiest to contract.  Summer brings some amazing family reunions, barbeque’s, and pool parties.  What do all of those have there in common?  Food sitting outside with optimal bacteria growing temperatures.  Knowing the bacteria in question that is spreading and causing infection in the U.S. will help you know how to treat or prevent it.  Here is a list of bacteria to watch out for in your food that is spreading illness this year:

  • Salmonella – shell eggsSalmonella is always a growing concern.  Right now the CDC has a Salmonella outbreak on shell eggs, raw sprouts, coconut, and chicken salad.  Those foods are commonly seen at get-togethers.  Salmonella can be contracted by a numerous amount of food types.
  • CampylobacterCampylobacter was on the rise by 14% in 2014 documented by the CDC.  This is another bacteria to not forget about during the summer.  Most people don’t know that this bacteria is the most common cause of foodborne illness and is 1 of 4 key global causes of diarrhoeal disease says The World Health Organization.
  • ClostridiumThis bacteria accounts for an average of 29,000 deaths per year.
  • Staphyloccocus aureus“The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year 48 million people in the United States get sick from a foodborne illness. Of those, 128,000 require hospitalization and 3,000 die.”
  • E.coli O157:H7Though not as prevalent, this strain of E.coli is very dangerous and deadly.  There are still reports of the Romain lettuce contamination being documented every day.

Diseases resulting after a hurricane hits

Due to climate change reports, 2018’s hurricane season is predicted to have more and stronger storms hit the east coast.  During a hurricane, there is tremendous devastation including damage to homes, power lines, vegetation, and more.  The most devastation can come from storm surges and flooding.  What is not commonly known is the diseases that come after the storm.

  • VibrioBacteria living in the Gulf of Mexico was surfaced on American soil during Hurricane Katrina with 18 known reported wound-associated cases
  • E.coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Hepatitis A Raw sewage from failing sewer pipes, landfills, septic tanks, medical wastes, feedlots, cemeteries and portable toilets contaminates water.

Diseases and health concerns after flooding

  • LegionellaThe NCBI has documented an increase of Legionnaires’ disease with the increase of flooding.
  • MoldMoisture and warmth is a perfect environment for harmful mold to grow in homes after any flooding from storms and hurricanes.  The East coast has severe damage from flooding this year so far from storms.  Mold is associated with severe respiratory illness and other health problems.  You can learn more about it here.

Vector-borne diseases (mosquitoes and ticks)

Mosquitoes and ticks populations are growing tremendously in the U.S. as temperatures rise.  We are seeing new viruses emerging in the states from these nasty little bugs.  Zika virus was unheard of until 2016 and is now making it’s home here in the states.  If there is a drought in your state now, the mosquito eggs are just waiting for monsoon season to hit.  The CDC is warning everyone to watch out for the bugs this year.  They are spreading worse than the wildfires.

  • West Nile
  • Dengue This disease is coming up from the south.  Peurto Rico is experiencing a huge problem with Dengue from the mosquitoes after their devastating hurricane season last year.
  • Zika20 cases reported to the CDC this year in the U.S. alone.  The Zika virus symptoms are not well known and healthcare providers often mistake the symptoms of other diseases.  These numbers are likely more than what is reported.
  • Lyme Disease48,610 tick-borne illnesses reported in 2016.
  • EhlrichiosisA not so common disease associated with ticks but is on the rise.

Increasing bacteria concern in swimming pools

One nasty bacteria stand out from all the rest in swimming pools.  Cryptosporidium which is not so easily killed by the mass amounts of chlorine pumped into public swimming pools that are supposed to sanitize the pools.  More and more families are drawn to public pools for something fun to do in the summer and it’s hot outside!

  • CryptoCrypto can survive in a swimming pool for up to 11 days after contamination in the chlorine.  The contamination usually comes from young children or babies already infected.

Still a growing concern from dust storms in the Southwest

The east is getting hit with mass amounts of rain while the west will be hit by dust storms.  Many people living in the west often take for granted what is living in the desert soil.  It is best to stay inside during a dust storm and this is why:

  • Valley feverValley fever cases are doubling just about every year and cases are being reported in California now.  Little is known about this disease even to people living in Arizona.  Another unknown fact is that dogs can contract the disease as well.  Many dogs have been diagnosed just from digging holes in the backyard.

Watch out for these diseases while traveling

Many of us like to travel during the summer when their kids are out of school.  The teachers have all summer to travel if they have that luxury too.  Summertime is a very popular travel time to white sandy beaches and historical European destinations.  Before you travel, keep these infectious diseases in mind while you are there.

U.S. territories, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Pacific Islands

  • Leptospirosis
  • Dengue
  • Zika
    • Here is a list of travel destinations at risk for Zika virus – CDC travel risk
  • Vibrio
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A

Europe

Much of Europe like the Paris and England are seeing a rise in the diseases listed below.

There have been hundreds of cases of these diseases reported just in April in 19 countries according to this report – ecdc Surveillance Report.  Even if you have received the vaccine, they are not 100% effective.  These warnings are good to have if you come down with symptoms to treat the illness early on and prevent infecting others.

Prevention measures

The CDC offers preventative measures for these infectious diseases that most people already know and are good to continue doing.  These measures include washing your hands, storing food at appropriate temperatures, cooking food thoroughly, disinfect any wounds properly during a natural disaster, and wear insect repellent.  We have a few more preventive measures that may be more beneficial to natural health and eco-friendliness in mind.  Some of these items we stumbled upon and thought, wow, that is a great idea for alternative health benefits.

These are our recommended items on Amazon for easy ordering and products you might not have thought about to ease the worries of summer.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Affiliate Disclosure here.

  • Essential oils- natural bug repellent

      • Essential oils work and they are all natural.  No chemicals sprayed on your skin.  We recommend an essential oil mix made for bug repellent from a reputable company with great reviews.  This is an easy all in one bottle and it’s safe for kids.  You can order one here at Amazon – doTERRA – TerraShield Essential Oil Repellent Blend
  • Clean water

    • Many people have to boil their water after a natural disaster due to contaminants.  We wrote an article about purifying your drinking water and how to improve it even more.  There is good information in this article if you are concerned about your water quality – Using Himalayan Salt to Improve Your Purified Drinking Water
  • Water filter for your own pool

  • Mold inspection

      • Mold can be found in areas you never knew existed in your home.  It does like dark places.  Even if your home has not experienced flooding or high precipitation, mold can still be lurking in areas such as your ventilation system.  That is a scary thought since that place increases the chance to breathe in mold spores and cause infection in your lungs.  We recommend getting an inspection and replacing filters in their recommended time.  We also stumbled on an article to help lower the amount of mold in the air of your home.  Turns out if you grow English Ivy in your home, it will help filter out the mold in the air.  Results showed the amount of mold in the air of a container with English Ivy and moldy bread was reduced by 78% in just 12 hours.  Ivy is very easy to propagate in just water so you could easily have multiple ivy plants that love to grow indoors.  Here’s a link to an Ivy plant to start if you are concerned about your air quality – Costa Farms English Ivy Live Indoor Tabletop Plant in 6-Inch Grower Pot

We hope this article was informative for everyone with as much information from the CDC packed into one article.  Please do take precautions and enjoy your summer fun!

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