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News Release
Stay safe, healthy with tips as summer begins - 06/20/24

June 20, 2024

Media contact: Erica Heartquist, 503.871.8843, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Stay safe, healthy with tips as summer begins

PORTLAND, Ore.—As summer kicks off today, Thursday, June 20, Oregon Health Authority recommends people in Oregon take steps to keep this season from becoming a “bummer” with tips for staying healthy and safe.

The Oregon ESSENCE Summer Hazard Report dashboard allows people to monitor trends in the most common summer-related hazards. The dashboard contains interactive graphs showing total daily counts of emergency department and urgent care center visits in Oregon associated with four injury and illness categories: heat-related illness, water submersion events, wildfire-related smoke inhalation, and air quality-related respiratory illness.

Users can also select data sets by year, going to back to 2018. The dashboard page under each tab also contains a description of the injury or illness, the groups most at risk, and how it can be treated or prevented. The dashboard is updated weekly.

Summer safety covers a variety of topics. Here are some quick tips:

  • Mosquito-borne diseases (West Nile virus, Zika)
    • Eliminate sources of standing water where mosquitoes breed, such as watering troughs and bird baths.
    • Protect yourself during outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active by using mosquito repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picardin, and follow directions on the container.
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in mosquito-infested areas. Visit https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/WESTNILEVIRUS/Pages/wnvprevent.aspx to learn more.
  • Cyanobacterial (harmful algal) blooms
    • Avoid areas of water bodies where there are signs of a cyanobacterial bloom, such as water that is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color.
    • Avoid swimming, water-skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and other high-speed water activities in areas of the lake affected by a bloom.
    • Watch children and pets to be sure they are not swallowing water or coming in contact with cyanobacterial blooms washed up on the shore or dried on rocks. Visit http://healthoregon.org/hab to learn more.
  • Beach bacteria
    • Visitors to Oregon beaches where a public health advisory is in place for higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean.
    • Avoid swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm even if no advisory is in effect. Visit http://healthoregon.org/beach to learn more.
  • Drowning prevention –
  • Extreme heat
    • Visit air-conditioned places, if possible, and limit sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest.
    • Use cool compresses, misting, and cool showers and baths, and never leave children in a parked car.
    • Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working outside, and avoid alcohol or liquids with large amounts of sugar. Visit https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ERD/Pages/Tips-Stay-Safe-Extreme-Heat.aspx.
  • Tick-borne diseases
  • Prevent fireworks injuries
  • Watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and do not allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

Call 911 immediately if someone is injured.

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