Welcome to summer -- it is definitely hot and this is the time of the year for families to go out camping prior to the beginning of the new school year.
When you decide to go camping, it is most likely going to involve water-- rivers and/or lakes. The best way to prevent waterborne illnesses while you are camping is to make sure you do not swallow the water that you are swimming in.
I remember very clearly as a kid taking a bottle of water from the pond and looking under the microscope and seeing all kinds of different little fungi and protozoa. It just so happens when somebody comes in with severe diarrhea of unknown etiology, we check for ova and parasites in the stool.
If you do have diarrhea, do not go swimming in the first place for the safety of other campers, as diarrhea or stool particles can be in and around the rectum and therefore leak out while swimming.
Drink nice filtered water when you're out camping and make sure that you always swim with somebody.
Always take a shower before and after swimming as this helps get rid of some of the bacteria and germs and fungus that might be living on your body.
And remember, if you are boating, canoeing and/or kayaking, always wear your life jacket if you're in and around water. Finally, be sure to avoid alcohol.
Now go camping and have fun!
Please e-mail any questions or concerns to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Justus Turner Peters, a family physician at Glen Rose Medical Center's Pecan Plantation clinic, received his medical school training at Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska and completed his family medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Peters' practice encompasses the care of infants and children as well as adults of all ages. He also conducts ongoing research in the areas of childhood obesity and lower extremity injuries. He serves as the county's Local Health Authority.