Based on our experience as a medical first aid centre for tourists (code white and green) in Cagliari and southern Sardinia, we can report on the main diseases encountered by tourists during their holidays.
Otitis externa is the inflammation of the external ear canal, often caused by the accumulation of water in the ear, which is very common during the summer. In this period of the year, in fact, swimming in the pool or at the sea, together with the warm and humid climate of South Sardinia, can cause water retention, skin maceration and the proliferation of bacteria and viruses. In addition, aggressive cosmetic products such as shower gel or shampoo, or prolonged use of ear plugs or cotton buds, can also irritate the skin. It is important to note that otitis externa is distinguished from otitis media, more common in cold months, linked to colds and sore throats.
INFLAMMATION OF THE RESPIRATORY TRACT (TONSILLITIS, PHARYNGITIS, BRONCHITIS…) 7.8
In most cases, airway inflammation is caused by a virus or bacteria.
To this condition is added the cold, a very common ailment that is often manifested in travelers. Symptoms include runny nose, nasal obstruction, headaches, coughing, sneezing, sore throat and itching, as well as a general malaise, usually not accompanied by fever.
URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (CYSTITIS) 11.3%
Lower urinary tract infections, such as urethritis and cystitis, are quite common in women and, as some studies show, during the summer months. This is because the heat and sweat can alter the normal vaginal flora and the proliferation of bacteria. Although in most cases they are simple infections, they often have a significant effect on well-being and quality of life.
SKIN DISEASES (DERMATITIS, BURNS, ALLERGIES…) 9.7%
In summer skin irritations are very common and are many and of different nature causes.
Among the main ones there is definitely the excessive and imprudent exposure to the sun, which can cause burns of various degrees, erythematous or vesicular. As well as contact with sand, rocks, mattress or boat tissues, they can bring irritative dermatitis.
Very often jellyfish do not look for man, but his bites are frequent and painful: contact with the jellyfish leaves in the skin thousands of tiny stings called nematocysts, which can continue to release the venom of the jellyfish even when contact is over. Also the wounds caused by the spines of the sea urchin, live corals, sea anemones and actinias are quite frequent during the summer period.
But not only that. Even the flora of the place can be an irritating agent, think for example of the milk of the fig tree plant (very common in South Sardinia) that can trigger major allergic dermatitis.
Insect bites are another important issue, and their incidence varies depending on the season and habits. In addition to mosquitoes, there are scorpions, bees, spiders, ticks, caterpillars, processionary moths and the exotic miasi or tunga penetrans, which are annoying and sometimes dangerous. Symptoms can range from a simple papule to serious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites, or even allergic reactions.
INJURIES TO LIMBS (SPRAINS, DISLOCATIONS, FRACTURES…) 7.7%
During the summer you tend to be more active and participate in various activities such as hiking, cycling, swimming and more. However, if these activities are carried out without having the necessary experience, technique or physical condition, the body may suffer from excessive effort or wrong movements, increasing the risk of injury.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common summer injuries, as well as:
- dinia metatarsal
- fractures or bruises
- neck and back pain
GASTROENTEROLOGY PROBLEMS 9.2%
One of the most common problems for tourists is diarrhea, a form of gastroenteritis that, as the word indicates, affects due to ingestion, alteration of daily nutrition or climate change.
HEART PROBLEMS (TACHYCARDIA, ARRHYTHMIA…) 6.2%
A cardiovascular pathology is a pathology that affects the structure or function of the heart, causing it to lose its task. The work of the heart is fundamental within the body, which has serious consequences for the health of those suffering from heart disease. In the event that you feel an abnormal heart rhythm, such as heart arrhythmias, with very fast beats (tachycardia) or very slow (bradycardia), you can turn to our centers, but in the case of a major problem, such as a heart disease, an endocarditis, a heart attack, etc. You should contact the emergency centre or 118.
PROBLEMS WITH EYES 1%
Eye problems can sometimes arise during holidays, usually caused by external factors such as sun, wind and sea, or internal factors such as foreign bodies, or allergies and inflammations. Among the most frequent we find:
- Conjunctivitis (also allergic)
- Photoheratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
SMALL CUTS REQUIRING 4.6% STITCHES
Cuts, especially at the soles of the feet, are very common in the summer. For this it is recommended on the beach, on the rocks and in the sea areas, wear suitable sandals. Deeper wounds may need to be cleaned and stitched up in a medical center.
Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, and often causes pain in the lower right abdomen. However, in most cases, the pain begins around the navel and then moves. When the inflammation worsens, the pain usually intensifies.
Although anyone can develop appendicitis, it is more common in subjects between the ages of 10 and 30. Surgical removal of the appendix is the standard treatment and requires hospitalization.
PAEDIATRIC SERVICES 8.2%
Even children, not only older children, get sick during the holidays. Among the most common diseases we find:
- blood-free diseases
- inflammation of the respiratory tract