Summer brings with it new places, new activities — and new risks. Here are our tips for a healthy and safe summer.
Mississippi is about heat and mosquitoes in summer. Sunburn, heat stroke, dehydration and skin damage can strike quickly, and be especially dangerous for older adults. Everyone is at risk from West Nile virus and similar mosquito-borne illnesses — make sure that this summer you Fight the Bite.
At the Beach and in the Water
Lakes, pool and beaches are the focal points of summer fun, but they carry serious risks; 46 Mississippians drowned in 2008, including more than a dozen children. Salt water carries its own risks: Vibrio bacteria – in food or seawater – flourish in summer months, and bring the risk of serious illness.
Many of Mississippi's beaches are now carrying water contact warnings because of toxic blooms of harmful blue-green algae. The Mississippi State Department of Health is monitoring this situation. To limit the possibility of illness related to Harmful Algal Bloom, we recommend:
- Avoid direct contact with water containing the algal bloom.
- Do not get in the water or ingest it.
- Do not eat fish from areas where algal bloom is identified.
See latest recommendations on fish consumption from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources »
- If you become ill after contact with the algae, immediately consult a physician.
For the latest information, see the website of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Questions regarding the safety of fish consumption should be directed the MDEQ and the State Department of Marine Resources.
Seafood and Summer Food
Hot weather and safe food don't mix; Mississippi has most of its food-borne illness outbreaks, including Salmonella, in the summer. If your plans include seafood, Vibrio bacteria make food safety especially important.