Summer colds, which have increased this season, could be attributed to bodies weakened by heat exhaustion.

Summer colds, which have increased this season, could be attributed to bodies weakened by heat exhaustion.

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Sick of summer: There are plenty of chances to catch a bug, even after winter

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published July 24, 2018

 Swimmer’s ear is a common and treatable illness that many doctors see each summer.

Swimmer’s ear is a common and treatable illness that many doctors see each summer.

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METRO DETROIT — Sunburns and swimmer’s ear are things that doctors would expect to see plenty of in their offices this time of year.

But summer cases of strep throat, common colds and wrongly diagnosed tick bites? Well, that’s new.

Dr. Manish Kesliker, of Emcura Urgent Care in Bloomfield Township, said the strep and colds coming in are unusual, but not exactly a surprise.

“Sure, as school starts, the germs usually ramp up. But anytime kids are mingling with other kids, like they do playing outside or at summer camp, they can catch things from each other,” he said. “I imagine with this heat we’ve had, people are getting run down a little easier and they’re more susceptible to colds.”

Kesliker said he’s also seen plenty of swimmer’s ear come through his office, which isn’t unusual, since summer temps usually result in kids heading to the pool. There’s also been a lot of dehydration. Not surprising with the record temperatures we’ve been sweating through.

“You have to get in that 48 to 64 ounces of water every day, or more, based on your activity level and exposure to heat,” he explained. “The best indicator is urine. If the color of your urine is light yellow or clear, you’re good. If you’re urinating infrequently, or it’s dark yellow or amber colored, you need to up the fluids.”

Speaking of increased activity, Dr. Scot Goldberg, of South Macomb Internal Medicine in Warren, has noticed a spike in bumps and bruises — that’s not uncommon, he said, as kids head outside to play in the sun.

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing more musculoskeletal injuries and minor lacerations. I think as the weather has warmed up people have been more active and injuring themselves,” Goldberg said. “I certainly encourage more aerobic activity, as the health benefits are well-studied, but hope people do so reasonably and safely.”

While you’re playing outside, Kesliker said, avoiding bug bites is a plus. But some of his patients have been overly concerned with a reported jump in tick sightings.

“For the first time, we’re seeing Lyme disease reported in Wayne and Oakland counties. Because of that increased awareness, people are more concerned when they see a bite about the potential for Lyme disease exposure,” he said.

But Kesliker explained that most of the time, bite victims can rest easy. Only the black-legged tick carries the dangerous disease — those little red guys won’t give you much trouble — and the risk of contracting Lyme disease really sets in once the tick has had about 24 hours or more to feed.

“Of course, if you’ve got a tick on you — usually hidden in cool, moist places, like the back of the neck in the hairline or near the groin — come in and we can assist with removal and direct you in analyzing what’s inside of that tick,” he said, noting that not all ticks will be infected with Lyme disease. “But I would also suggest people taking a look on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and learning what the signs and symptoms are of Lyme disease.”


FYI…
Dr. Manish Kesliker often advises his patients to use lemon eucalyptus oil as an all-natural bug repellent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the natural scent is comparable to the chemical DEET for efficiency and lasting power in preventing insect bites.