Colombia’s Ministry of Health is making a call to citizens to prevent an increase in reported cases of Zika, dengue and chikungunya. The ministry also wants to reduce the number of illnesses related to sun exposure and to the consumption of food and drink during the holidays and new year’s.
The ministry encourages the following:
- People who travel to places that lie under 2,200 feet below sea level must take measures to prevent vector-borne diseases (those transmitted through mosquito bites) as well as other viral diseases.
- When eating outdoors, properly dispose of waste from items such as pans, cups or bottle using clean water because they can become potential mosquito reproduction sites, which can lead to disease.
- Stay in the shade or use items that create a physical barrier from the sun such as wide-brimmed hats, caps, sunglasses with UV protection and clothes that cover the most commonly exposed areas of skin.
- In addition to the barriers mentioned above, use sunscreen.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before cooking and eating; after going to the bathroom, changing a baby’s diaper, and assisting a child with wiping in the bathroom; or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, among others.
- Thoroughly cook your food, especially those foods that are at a greater risk for contamination such as meat, chicken and fish. Keep foods at a safe temperature, whether that means chilling or heating, and avoid cooking large amounts of food. If you are not going to eat the food in a short period of time or if you do not have access to a refrigerator, it is better to buy fresh foods.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water prior to eating them.
Enjoying this season by practicing healthy habits and by avoiding excessive eating allows you to enjoy your leisure time with your loved ones without the negative drawbacks.