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Monday, June 07, 2010 - Broward Health Suggests Summer Health Precautions

In a few days school will be out and many families are planning a summer vacation that will most likely include outdoor activities. Just like any other season, summertime must be spent with safety and health precautions.  Hot and humid temperatures, intense sunlight, poisonous plants and biting insects can ruin your summer vacation with a host of severe skin problems.

Among those annoyances are ticks that can cause Lyme disease, an infection cause by a bacterium often found in deer ticks. Lyme disease has spread rapidly in the United States, infecting people of all ages.  The disease is spread to people by a bite of a tick who has fed on infected animals such as deer and wild rodents.

To protect yourself, Dr. Marlene Wolf, Family Practitioner at Broward Health Coral Springs Medical Center, suggests that you wear protective clothing such as light colored, long-sleeved shirts that are tucked into your pants and socks when hiking in wooded areas. Always check for ticks and wash your body immediately after spending time in the woods or tall grass areas. Also, keep a close eye for anything unusual on your skin, especially a rash on concentric rings, like a bulls-eye.  

“In Florida, we usually issue warnings about sunburn, heat stroke, water safety, but we also have to pay attention to other areas,” said Dr. Wolf. “Everyone should be on guard because ticks are found throughout Florida’s grassy areas and woodlands including the Everglades.”

If you have any symptoms such as a skin rash that is red circular patch, fever, swollen lymph glands or joint pain, you should consult a doctor. The typical treatment for Lyme disease is antibiotics. If left untreated, about two-thirds of people with Lyme disease develop recurring bouts of arthritis, even sometimes years after the infection. 

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information visit, www.browardhealth.org.