• Heatstroke poses a danger to athletes and people who work outdoors, and the key to prevention is staying hydrated. “Power drinks are beneficial, but there’s nothing better than good old-fashioned water or salt tablets,” says George Cox, MD, internal medicine physician at Bon Secours Medical Group, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth).
• Ticks, which can cause Lyme disease, are another constant threat in this area. “Wear long trousers and put on DEET repellent,” says Dr. Cox. “If you see a tick and believe you were exposed less than 48 hours earlier, you’re pretty safe having them removed.” Have a friend or family member examine your skin closely. “Not everyone who has Lyme disease gets the telltale ‘bull’s-eye’ rash.” Also, get tested for ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, other tick-borne illnesses that can be even worse than Lyme.
• Food poisoning is often caused “from bacteria growing in foods that have been left in the sun too long,” says Dr. Cox. Luckily, it’s a “self-limiting illness,” meaning you’ll eventually get the toxins out of your system through vomiting or diarrhea. “Keeping Imodium handy can help.”
Do you have a health-related question for a WMCHealth physician or specialist? Email your questions to [email protected], with “Just the Facts” in the subject heading. Your question may be featured in a future issue.