Summer Viruses Public Health Experts Want You To Be Aware Of

You may already know this, but winter isn't the only time of the year when you can get sick, and as schools begin to close for the summer and more people gather for summer parties and festivals, public health experts remind us to take precautions to stay healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted a likely resurgence of mpox after seeing an outbreak of mpox cases in Chicago. The CDC advised high-risk populations for mpox to get vaccinated and take preventive steps to avoid spreading the disease.

For the past three years, COVID-19 has been on our minds. Now that the CDC is no longer tracking daily cases, New York City detected a potential COVID surge in 14 of its wastewater treatment plants (via CBS News). Noroviruses saw a significant uptick in March, but cases have dropped in the last few weeks. According to the CDC, you can get norovirus if you eat or drink foods contaminated with the virus or if you touch your mouth after touching a contaminated surface. People who like to hike or camp could get norovirus if there's little access to clean water and handwashing stations. Hand sanitizers aren't very effective against noroviruses.

Bugs can transmit disease

Although good hygiene can help prevent many infectious diseases, bugs are carriers of some nasty illnesses. If you love the woods, you'll need to watch out for ticks. Entomologists tell that tick season might pose a problem this year, especially in the Northeast. Deer ticks, which are known to carry Lyme disease, are colonizing areas that haven't seen this species. Milder winters associated with climate change allow deer ticks to survive, and they can migrate further north in the summer. Based on insurance records, the CDC says 476,000 people each year are treated for Lyme disease.

Summer is also the season for mosquitoes to thrive. We're more likely to get bitten by these pesky insects as we spend more time outdoors and expose more skin for them to feast. Mosquitoes carry diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus, according to the CDC. NBC News says that one person became infected with malaria in Florida from a mosquito bite.