What's Going Around: food-borne, water-borne, and mosquito-relat - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

What's Going Around: food-borne, water-borne, and mosquito-related illnesses

Food-borne illnesses are increasing this week in Southwest Louisiana.  (Source: KPLC) Food-borne illnesses are increasing this week in Southwest Louisiana. (Source: KPLC)

Food-borne illnesses, water-related sicknesses, and viruses or infections connected to mosquitoes are What's Going Around this week.

With the Memorial Day holiday weekend just a couple of days away, there are a few health warnings from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital infection preventionist, Bridget Redlich, before you head outside.

"A lot of people will be grilling out or eating outside," said Redlich.  "Just remember to keep your cold foods cold and your hot foods hot.  You don't want to expose things that could be prone to salmonella or listeria."

Redlich says you need to be most careful in how you handle chicken, dairy products, and make sure you wash fresh fruits and vegetables.

The symptoms of food-borne illnesses are like a stomach virus.

"Food-borne illness is going to present with things like any kind of gastrointestinal type symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping," said Redlich.

If those symptoms last for more than 24 hours, you need to see a doctor.

Those same symptoms are connected to recreational water illnesses.  Redlich says if you are feeling sick, do not go into the water.

"You don't really want to expose anyone to that by going into some of those public areas," said Redlich.  "You want to make sure that you're encouraging frequent handwashing and not ingesting the pool water.  If you have little ones and they're wearing a swim diaper or something like that, make sure that you're changing it often."

Something else Redlich is seeing with the warmer weather: mosquito-borne illnesses.

"You always just to think mosquito bite prevention," she said.  "That would definitely be wearing mosquito repellent if you're outdoors, something that contains DEET, also making sure that if it's in the early morning hours of the late evening hours, kind of when the sun is not out as much and the mosquitoes are more prevalent that you have longer sleeves, longer pants."

With the wet spring we have experienced across Southwest Louisiana, Redlich also advises for you to look for areas of standing water around your home and eliminate them, where mosquitoes can breed.

Just this week, Louisiana health officials met to come up with a specific plan to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus, as Gulf Coast states are the most vulnerable. 

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