Ticks, heatwaves, and mosquitos: NPHIs offer guidance for summer health threats

July 17, 2015

Christy Craig

As the days get longer and the weather warmer, people across the northern hemisphere enjoy more time outdoors. However, the summer months also bring with them a variety of seasonal health risks. 

Recognizing these risks is key to preventing seasonal ailments, and many of IANPHI’s member NPHIs in Europe are focused on informing the public in order to identify and combat these risks for a healthy, safe summer.

According to the Netherlands’ RIVM, nearly 25,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the Netherlands each year. Due to weather patterns, RIVM warned that 2015 will have a late, but high tick-bite season. To prevent Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, RIVM recommends that “people check themselves carefully for tick bites after spending time in the countryside” and remove ticks as soon as possible because the risk of disease increases the longer a tick is attached to the skin. In a “Tick Awareness Week” social media campaign, RIVM provided information on tick removal and Lyme disease warning signs, in efforts to prevent cases this summer. 

Other NPHIs have produced similar campaigns. In England, PHE has produced recommendations for preventing tick-borne illnesses, as well as measures for coping with summer heatwaves in the UK. PHE’s heatwave plan offers advice for managing health in high temperatures, including maintaining proper hydration, staying out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, and applying sunscreen when outdoors.

Norway’s NIPH has responded to Norwegians’ requests for information regarding summer ailments, and published a Q & A this week outlining tips and tricks for avoiding mosquito and tick bites, as well as local seasonal health risks such as viper bites and jellyfish stings.

What is your NPHI doing to prevent seasonal ailments? Send us an update at info@ianphi.org.