MECHANICSVILLE, Va., -- As Central Virginia approaches the warmer summer months, local doctors are already warning about the dangers the heat can bring to residents.
Those dangers include the risk of dehydration while working and playing outside. Bugs and insects, like ticks and mosquitos that carry diseases, also should alert Virginians.
Dr. Melissa Aquilo at Patient First Medical Center in Mechanicsville warned that she's already seen patients who were concerned about tick bites.
"If you’re outside gardening or doing any other yard work you should check your body for ticks head to toe," Dr. Aquilo said.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported that "illnesses from mosquito, tick, and flea bites have tripled in the U.S., with more than 640,000 cases reported during the 13 years from 2004 through 2016."
"These findings are in the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is CDC’s first summary collectively examining data trends for all nationally notifiable diseases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick, or flea. It provides detailed information on the growing burden of mosquito-borne and tickborne illnesses in the U.S.," the report cited.
Nearly a dozen new germs spread by these insects were infecting Americans during the same period, according to the CDC.
"If you develop fever, rashes, muscle aches, joint paints, or you just don’t feel right and you’ve had a tick bite - go to the doctor and get evaluated," Aquilo said.
Doctors said using insect repellant is one of the best ways to reduce exposure to potential problems.
As temperatures rise, it's often easy to forget how quickly our bodies can lose water and be exposed to harmful sun-rays.
"You need to wear sunblock, which should be yearlong. But we will be outside more because it’s going to be pretty. So, wear SPF of 30 or higher and it should be reapplied every couple of hours," Aquilo recommended. "Hydrate well because you’re going to lose more on these days."
Doctors said caffeine should be avoided since it's not a great hydrator on hotter than normal days.
Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, tired or sleepiness, increased thirst, dizziness, and dry skin among other signs.