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Paul Rhien
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Stay Healthy and Safe While Enjoying the Outdoors

May 26, 2017 - Public Relations - Safety

Memorial Day Weekend the Unofficial Start of Summer

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) offers tips for residents to stay safe and healthy this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer, while enjoying all the outdoor activities New Mexico has to offer.

With warmer temperatures, there are increased concerns with heat exposure, hydration, safe food handling when in the outdoors, and the return of mosquito season.  There are a variety of ways to reduce your health risks:

Avoid Heat Induced Illness

There were 137 emergency department visits in New Mexico for heat stress June 2016, the most for any month in the year.  Heat stress is a heat-related illness that with inadequate fluid replacement and continued exposure to high temperatures, can progress to more serious conditions such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  To protect yourself from the heat, take the following steps:

  • Stay cool indoors; do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Drink more water than usual but avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • When going out, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Do not leave children or pets in cars.

To learn more, please visit the Heat Stress - Environmental Public Health Tracking website.

Handle Food Safely

Foodborne illnesses affect an estimated 48 million people every year in the United States.  Proper handling and storage of foods is important for reducing your risks for foodborne illness.

  • Cook meats on the grill thoroughly using a thermometer for correct temperature.
  • Wash your hands, and be careful not to cross contaminate when preparing meats and other foods.
  • Don’t eat cold or hot foods that have been held at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

More information can be found in the Foodborne Disease Agents section of our website.

Avoid Mosquito Bites

So far this year, there has been just one reported case of West Nile Virus and no reported cases of Zika Virus in New Mexico. However, we are entering the 2017 mosquito season.  With increased time spent outdoors, it is important to act to reduce your risk of mosquito bites.

  • Create a barrier by wearing insect repellent, long sleeves, long pants, and a hat.
  • Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors when mosquitoes are most active (at dusk and dawn).
    Use screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Empty or eliminate water holding containers (where mosquitoes lay their eggs) such as tires, flower pots, toys, and buckets.

To learn more, visit the West Nile Virus and Zika Virus sections of our website.

Learn More

The New Mexico Department of Health works to promote the health and safety of all New Mexicans and provides resources for keeping yourself and those around you safe.

For places to go and things to do in the Land of Enchantment this summer visit the New Mexico True website.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Paul Rhien at 505-470-2290 (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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