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Don’t Let Infectious Diseases Effect Your Summer


Warm weather’s finally here and for many of us, the start of summer means spending more time outdoors. Whether you’re staying local or traveling abroad, it’s important to be aware of the potential risk for contracting an infectious disease. Knowing about infectious diseases can make all the difference when it comes to protecting yourself and your family.

What is an Infectious Disease?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an infectious disease is any disease that’s caused by microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi that can be spread from one person to another. These diseases can be spread either directly or indirectly. The direct spread can happen through touch, bodily fluid contact, or droplets from coughing, sneezing, or even speaking.  Indirectly, diseases can spread through the air, touching a contaminated object then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose, through water or food, coming in contact with contaminated animals, being bitten by an insect, and coming in contact with soil, water, or vegetation that’s contaminated.   

Can You Prevent Infectious Diseases?

Yes, there are preventative measures you can take in order to prevent yourself or a loved one from getting an infectious disease. Practicing good hand hygiene by washing hands is the most important 1st step in preventing infections.

 If you plan to travel abroad, another great precaution is to visit an Infectious Disease Specialist. We can help determine what diseases are cause for concern depending which geographical location you’re traveling to and during which part of the year. From there, we’ll discuss if special immunization or other preventative measures are necessary for your travel plans.   

Being aware of your surroundings and preparing for the environment can also serve as preventative measures. For example, Lyme Disease is spread through the bite of an infected tick. If you are going to go for a hike, you should wear long pants, high socks, and sneakers to protect yourself from the possibility of being bit by a tick. Make sure afterwards you and your family members do a full body check to scan for ticks.  

Other preventative measures include:

  • Frequently washing your hands
  • Practicing safe sex (i.e condoms)
  • Receiving recommended vaccinations  - For more information, please view the schedules on the CDC's website: and
  • Staying home if you’re feeling ill to prevent the spread of disease to others

Can I Check if an Area I Plan to Travel to is Having an Outbreak?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a list online of current travel notices. When you’re booking your next trip, it’s a good idea to check the website for warnings:

It’s important to note you’re not just at risk for infectious diseases if you’re traveling, you can get an infectious disease anywhere. Common ones include:

  • Chickenpox
  • Influenza (the flu)
  • Lyme Disease
  • Measles
  • Pneumonia

What Are Symptoms of Infectious Disease?

As with any sickness, your symptoms will vary depending on the disease. Common, mild symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle Aches

Mild infections can clear up on their own, but more serious infections can be life threatening. You should seek immediate medical attention if you or your child:

  • Have an extremely high fever or one that doesn’t go away over time
  • Experience difficulty breathing
  • Experience sudden vision problems
  • Have a rash or swelling
  • Have a cough that lasts over a week
  • Have been bitten by an animal or insect


Infectious Disease Prevention Starts with Education

The more you know about infectious diseases, the better you can protect yourself and your loved ones from contracting one. Whether you’re travelling this summer or staying local, practice preventative measures and keep Infectious Disease Specialists in mind if you have any concerning symptoms or would like to prepare for travel.


Arturo G. Pascual, Jr., MD, is an Infectious Disease Specialist at Crystal Run Healthcare in West Nyack. He earned his Medical Degree from Cebu Doctors University in Mandaue City Cebu, Philippines and completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at NYMC/Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY. Dr. Pascual completed his Fellowship training in Infectious Disease at NYMC/Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Pascual has clinical interests in HIV and travel/tropical infectious diseases.