Summer fun could be source of infections: ASM book discusses potential risks,,,diagnostic signs and preventive measures

It's summertime and the living is easy-unless you've been laid low by a bout of diarrhea or some other unpleasant infection. Unfortunately, many of the leisure activities associated with summer-swimming, hiking, gardening, travel, playing with pets, etc.-can pose hidden risks in the form of disease-causing microbes. Infections often occur in unsuspecting individuals who, unaware they face any risk, take no precautions.

A new book, Infections of Leisure, offers valuable and timely information on specific leisure activity-associated infections that can help people better protect themselves from illnesses that could spoil their summer fun. The book published by the American Society for Microbiology Press offers practical guidelines for recognizing the signs of disease and preventing infections encountered at the beach, in the garden, on camping trips, at home and while traveling abroad. The book includes information on infectious risks possible in places we might assume to be safe, such as hot tubs and chlorinated swimming pools. It describes both commonplace and exotic microbial infections, including infections associated with specific foods and sexually transmitted diseases.

"The purpose of this book is not to scare people, but rather to arm them with knowledge," said Infections of Leisure editor Dr. David Schlossberg, a professor of medicine at the Jefferson Medical College and Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa.

"While the majority of us will not get sick while splashing in the surf or dining on exotic delicacies, nonetheless the potential for microbial infections is there and sometimes people do become ill from these activities," he continued.

"The important thing is not for people to stop doing the things they enjoy, but to understand the risks, however great or slight, and to take appropriate preventive measures when possible," he said. "It's also important that they recognize common signs of infection so they seek treatment immediate

Contact: Christine Stencel
American Society for Microbiology

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