Muscat: Clean hands can help prevent summer diseases like diarrhoea and viral infections in the Sultanate.
Health experts in the country have emphasised how keeping up with hygiene, especially hands, can help fight the infections and viruses that are most likely to occur during the summer months.
Dr Basheer, a senior internist and diabetologist at Badr Al Samaa Hospital in Ruwi, told Times of Oman that the most common types of summer illness are diarrhoea and viral infections.
“We have started seeing cases of diarrhoeal infection where people are coming in with gastric and cramp issues. This is most commonly seen during Summer and is usually due to eating from open air restaurants. Right now, I can’t say that it is on the rise, but the number of patients may increase due to the combination of changes in the weather and
“There are also cases of viral infections of the intestines – again because of eating outdoors and not practicing good hygiene, especially hand hygiene. If you do a proper hand wash, 90 per cent of diseases can be prevented,” Dr. Basheer said.
He added that many times a virus can lead to an eye infection, making a thorough hand wash essential.
“We always advise our patients to wash their hands before and after eating to prevent the spread of infection. We focus a lot on hand hygiene as it can prevent so many illnesses”.
“People in outdoor catering and restaurant businesses should comply with the rules and regulations put in place by the authorities to avoid transmitting any diseases and infections,” Dr Basheer recommended.
Another health expert from the NMC Speciality Hospital in Ruwi recommended staying hydrated by drinking eight to 12 glasses of water a day, and not staying out too long in the sun. He also emphasised washing hands thoroughly after every meal and when coming in from outdoors.
“It is extremely essential to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water – about two to three litres every day. Most importantly, wash your hands religiously to avoid catching viral infections from your surroundings especially after meals and coming in from an outdoor event. “
“Those working outdoors must use sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Also, look for a shade or seek cool places to prevent the ill-effects of too much sun exposure,” the
He added that whenever possible, everyone should avoid direct exposure to the sun between 10 am and 3 pm.