The number of measles cases reported in the United States this year has reached a 20 year high. Plus, hotter weather is putting more people in danger of suffering heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Dr. Syed Shah is the Medical Director of the ER at West Calcasieu-Cameron Hospital. He explains what's going around this week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 300 people in the U.S. have reportedly had the measles this year, all because they are not vaccinated. "It's a childhood disease, but it can affect adults too and we're seeing more and more cases in the United States in the adult population," said Dr. Shah.
If you have never received a measles vaccine or you are behind on measles boosters, go to your parish health unit or reach out to your healthcare provider to get up to date.
Temperatures in Southwest Louisiana are on the rise as we approach the hot summer months and that increases the risk for heat-related illnesses. "You cramp suddenly," said Dr. Shah, "it can be very painful and heading next would be heat exhaustion. These people usually feel weak or nauseous."
The best ways to prevent heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion or heat stroke are to take plenty of breaks in the shade and drink lots of fluids.
Without proper fluid intake, it is easy to become dehydrated in the hot summer months. "To prevent it, drink plenty of fluids," said Dr. Shah, "you can take some electrolytes by mouth and drink sports drinks."
If you are feeling nauseous, dizzy or disoriented, those are signs that you could be dehydrated and you need to seek medical attention.