Four Facts That May Surprise You Food-borne Salmonella can be a real problem, but can be easily be avoided with proper food handling. Learn these five facts and tips for lowering your chance of getting a Salmonella infection. How do I know if I have a Salmonella infection? According to the CDC you should contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you have:
- Diarrhea and a fever over 101.5°F.
- Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving.
- Bloody stools.
- Prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down.
- Signs of dehydration, such as:
- Making very little urine
- Dry mouth and throat
- Dizziness when standing up
- Salmonella from Food: You can get a Salmonella infection from a variety of foods. Salmonella can be found in many foods including beef, chicken, eggs, fruits, pork, sprouts, vegetables, and even processed foods, such as nut butters, frozen pot pies, chicken nuggets, and stuffed chicken entrees. When you eat a food that is contaminated with Salmonella, it can make you very sick (symptoms listed above). Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal, which is why it is important to know how to prevent Salmonella infection.
- Warm Summer Weather and Salmonella: Salmonella illness is more common in the summer. Warmer weather and unrefrigerated foods create ideal conditions for Salmonella to grow. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze perishables (foods likely to spoil or go bad quickly), prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours. Chill them within 1 hour if the temperature is 90°F or hotter.
- Symptoms can appear 6-48 Hours after being infected: Salmonella illness can be serious and is more dangerous for certain people. Symptoms of infection usually appear 6–48 hours after eating a contaminated food, but can take much longer. These symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. In most cases, illness lasts 4–7 days and people recover without antibiotic treatment. Some people may have severe diarrhea and need to be hospitalized. Anyone can get a Salmonella infection, but some groups are more likely to develop a serious illness: older adults, children younger than five years of age.
- Weakened Immune Systems: People with immune systems weakened from medical conditions, such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and cancer or their treatment.
Avoiding Eye Damage: Keeping your eyes safe in the sun. Many people fear the dangerous effects of sun damage and specifically ultraviolet (UV) rays on the skin, but few realize the danger imposed on their eyes. Whether from natural sunlight or artificial UV rays, UV radiation can damage the eye's surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens. It can also burn the front surface of the eye, much like a sunburn on the skin. Just as we protect our skin with sunscreen, we should also remember to protect our eyes and vision with appropriate sunglasses. Your Eyes and UV Rays UV rays are invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays, two of the three types of UV rays, can have adverse effects on your eyes and vision. Long-term exposure to these dangerous rays can cause significant damage. It is also important to note that UV radiation can also be given off by artificial sources like welding machines, tanning beds, and lasers. Short-Term Effects If you are exposed and unprotected to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, your eyes are likely to experience an effect called photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is an inflammation of the cornea caused by brief exposure to UV radiation, usually when combined with cold wind and snow. Much like a "sunburn of the eye," it may be painful and may create symptoms including red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing. Fortunately, this is usually temporary and rarely causes permanent damage to the eyes. Long-Term Effects: Long-term exposure to UV radiation can be more serious. Scientific studies and research out of the U.S. space program have shown that exposure to small amounts of UV radiation over a period of many years may increase the chance of developing a cataract and may cause damage to the retina, the nerve-rich lining of the eye that is used for seeing. This damage to the retina is usually not reversible. Cumulative damage of repeated exposure may contribute to chronic eye disease as well as increase the risk of developing skin cancer around the eyelids. Long-term exposure to UV light is also a risk factor in the development of pterygium, a growth that invades the corner of the eyes, and pinguecula, a yellowish, slightly raised lesion that forms on the surface tissue of the white part of your eye. What you can do to protect your eyes? Wear Sunglasses! Especially when you are in the sun. Ophthalmologists recommend wearing quality sunglasses that offer good protection and a wide-brimmed hat when working outdoors, participating in outdoor sports, taking a walk, running errands, tanning, or doing anything in the sun. To provide sufficient protection to your eyes, your sunglasses should:
- Block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation
- Screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light
- Be perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection
- Have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition
Bug Bites Outside summer fun also generally means being exposed to bug bites. Whether you’re in the water, on a mountain trail, or in your backyard, the wildlife you encounter have ways of protecting themselves and their territory. Insects such as bees, ants, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, wasps, and arachnids may bite or sting. The initial contact of a bite may be painful. It’s often followed by an allergic reaction to the bit or sting on your skin through the insect’s mouth or stinger. Most bites and stings trigger nothing more than minor discomfort, but some encounters can be deadly, especially if you have severe allergies to the insect venom. Bug Bite Prevention Prevention is the best medicine, so knowing how to recognize and avoid biting and stinging animals or insects is the best way to stay safe. The animals you should recognize and understand depend very much on where you live or where you’re visiting. Different regions of the United States are home to many of these creatures. Some common prevention methods, specifically for bugs like the common mosquito, which are in full force right now include mosquito sprays such as Deet or OFF, but other methods such as citronella plants or candles can also help. The season you are in, such as summer, also matters. For example, mosquitoes, stinging bees, and wasps tend to come out in full force during the summer. Tips to Apply Repellent In order to be effective, when applying bug repellent make sure to follow the following directions:
- Apply repellent only to exposed skin or clothing (as directed on the product label). Never put it on under clothing.
- Use just enough to cover and only for as long as needed; heavier doses don’t work better and can increase risks.
- Don’t apply repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin. When applying to your face, spray first on your hands, then rub in, avoiding your eyes and mouth, and using sparingly around ears.
- Don’t let young children apply. Instead, put it on your own hands, then rub it on. Limit use on children’s hands because they often put their hands in their eyes and mouths.
- Don’t use near food, and wash hands after application and before eating or drinking.
- At the end of the day, wash treated skin with soap and water, and wash treated clothing in a separate wash before wearing again.
- If you’re planning to use repellents on your clothes, note that most of the ones we tested damaged leather and vinyl, and some of them stained synthetic fabrics. Wash repellent off your skin and launder treated clothes.
How Smoke from Forest Fires Can Affect Your Health This dry Colorado summer has been causing some major problems with forest fires around the state. With forest fires comes bad air quality. Have you wondered what the smoke in the air and poor air quality can do to your health? This post will help you understand what smokey air can do to your body. While everyone differs and not everyone has the same sensitivity to forest fire smoke, it’s still a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. And when smoke is heavy, especially in communities with fires, it’s bad for everyone. Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic materials burn. The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. They can cause a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases. Exposure has even been linked to premature death.
Who is at risk?It’s especially important for you to pay attention to local air quality reports during a fire if live nearby. If you have any of the following items, it’s particularly important that you steer clear of smoke because these groups are more at risk, including:
- Any person with heart or lung disease, such as heart failure, angina, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma.
- Older adults are generally more likely to have heart or lung disease than younger people
- Children and teenagers are generally at risk because their respiratory systems are still developing, they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults, they’re more likely to be active outdoors, and they’re more likely to have asthma.
- Anyone with diabetes, because you are more likely to have underlying cardiovascular disease.
- Pregnant women, because there could be potential health effects for both you and the developing fetus.
Is smoke affecting you? How you can tell.High concentrations of smoke can trigger a range of symptoms.
- Anyone may experience burning eyes, a runny nose, cough, phlegm, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
- If you have heart or lung disease, smoke may make your symptoms worse
- People with heart disease might experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue.
- People with lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath.
How to protect yourself from the smoke!It’s really important to limit your exposure to smoke. Especially if you are at increased risk for particle-related effects. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
- If you have heart, vascular or lung disease, including asthma, talk with your healthcare provider before fire season to make plans. Discuss when to leave the area, how much medicine to have on hand, and your asthma action plan if you have asthma.
- Keep the toxins in your home down by having a several-day supply of nonperishable foods that do not require cooking. Cooking, especially frying and broiling, can add to indoor pollution levels.
- Consider buying an air cleaner/purifier. Some room air purifiers can help reduce particle levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your rooms as specified by the manufacturer.
- Have a supply of medical/surgical masks on hand, and learn how to use them correctly. They are sold at many hardware and home repair stores and online.