As area residents prepare for the summer season, the Florida Department of Health in Martin County is offering these tips for staying healthy in the coming months.
- Avoid contact with algae
Residents are urged to avoid contact with visible algae in the water. Cyanobacteria, a type of blue-green algae, can release toxins that can be harmful to people and pets. Additional information is available atwww.MartinCountyHealth.com. If you spot blue-green algae, please contact the State Warning Point at 1-800-320-0519.
- Fight the Bite: Drain & Cover!
Summer season is also mosquito season. Some mosquitoes carry harmful diseases. Martin County Mosquito Control and the Health Department urge residents to do their part to stop mosquitoes from multiplying around homes and business. Log on to www.MartinCountyHealth.com and learn to “Drain and Cover.” Mosquito Control is available by calling 772-288-5657.
- Stay hydrated, use sunscreen, practice water safety
Take care to protect yourself from the summer sun. Stay hydrated by drinking water at least every 30 minutes while outdoors. Wear a hat and sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
Practice water safety and never leave a child unsupervised near a pool or body of water.
- Practice proper food safety
Frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of disease. Keep raw foods and utensils separate from each other. Cook foods to temperature. Promptly refrigerate leftovers to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Naegleria fowleri
As temperatures rise in freshwater lakes and ponds, so does the threat of the parasite, Naegleria fowleri. The amoeba is found in the sand and silt of freshwater and although rare, can cause a fatal infection in humans. The safest way to prevent infections is to avoid swimming in warm standing waters such as lakes and ponds. Using nose clips may also reduce your chances of becoming infected. More information is available at www.cdc.com
- Raw Shellfish
Residents with liver disease or a weakened immune system should avoid eating raw or undercooked seafood, especially oysters, because of the risk of Vibrio vulnificus. These naturally occurring marine bacteria can also infect exposed wounds in saltwater.