Keep safe and healthy this summer
January 25, 2013
Keep safe and healthy this
Canterbury District Health Board is
reminding people to stay safe and stay healthy in the hot
weather this summer.
Dr Alistair Humphrey,
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says on these hot days
people needed to be safe outdoors by being sun smart,
following water and food safety messages and by being aware
of potential waterway infections.
“It is important
people protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays with
broad spectrum UV sunscreen, cool clothing, sunglasses, and
by seeking shade between 11am and 4pm.
should also ensure they swim between the flags at the beach
or check for any health warnings before swimming in places
where there could be potential algal blooms.”
Humphrey says people need to be aware that swimming in
rivers, pools and spas also carries its own risks of
infection, particularly gastro infections such as
“Already this year 20 cases of
Giardiasis have been reported– compared to 14 for the same
time last year,” Dr Humphrey says.
Giardiasis is a
parasite and causes severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
Symptoms can last for months, often only settling after
“We do know there are
giardia cysts in the silt of our local rivers based on an
ESR report published last year, so it is important to very
aware of this when boating or using waterways. In theory, it
can also be spread in pools and spas by people who are
“To reduce the spread
Giardiasis and other gastro like illnesses it is important
people wash and dry themselves properly after swimming in
rivers and pools and if they have had diarrhoea symptoms
they should stay out of pools and spas for at least two
weeks after their symptoms have subsided.”
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