LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Health (DOH) regional office here is reminding Bicolanos to be more health conscious as they enjoy various activities particularly common diseases that usually afflict people during the hot summer season.

In an interview on Wednesday, Dr. Ernie Vera, DOH officer-in-charge regional director, said the public must be aware of the six common summer diseases or conditions, referred to as the “6S”.

“These are sore eyes, sunburn, suka at tae (diarrhea), "sipon at ubo" (colds and coughs), "sakit sa balat" (skin diseases) and "sakmal ng aso" (dog bite),” he noted.

Vera said hand washing can limit the spread of harmful bacteria or viruses that cause sore eyes or conjunctivitis.

The health expert also warned against using eye drops not prescribed by an ophthalmologist.

He also said it is good to drink plenty of water. “This will make one’s body fresh from too much heat and will help in avoiding dehydration,” he said.

Vera said drinking 8-12 glasses of water can help avoid heat stroke from prolonged exposure to the sun.

Likewise, he advised families to bring their own food when traveling to avoid food poisoning, noting that cooked food spoils easily during hot weather.

“Always have oral rehydration salt solution ready in case one suffers diarrhea,” Vera said.

The DOH also issued a reminder about skin diseases that people may suffer after swimming in improperly maintained swimming pools.

“Remember to take a bath before and after plunging into the pool and to refrain from urinating in the pool,” Vera said.

Moreover, he noted that colds and cough are common during the summer season because of erratic weather that brings sudden downpour from time to time.

As to animal bites, Vera said owners should make sure that their pet dogs and cats are vaccinated against rabies. He noted that there is an animal bite center at the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Center where rabies vaccination is immediately available.

Vera also said that as summer is a time for vacation and travel, people must be conscious about road safety and "follow simple road safety tips like do not call or text while driving, always follow traffic rules especially speed limits and for those riding motorcycles or bicycles, always wear your helmet”. (PNA)