Unusual infections, many of which are easily preventable, may occur during the summer months as a result of travel and recreational activities. Infection Control Practitioners may be consulted for isolation recommendations, but more importantly may have opportunities to educate patients and personnel about preventive measures.
During the summer months, Americans of all ages travel extensively and participate in a variety of outdoor recreational activities such as swimming, boating, camping, hiking, and gardening, which may result in exposure to unusual pathogens. Climatic factors, poor immunity to these pathogens, and lack of attention to hygiene may increase the risk for infections caused by these organisms. They may be transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food or water, contact with contaminated water, soil, or vegetation, or by insect bites. Basic preventive measures are effective against many infections related to recreational activities. Persons traveling to underdeveloped areas should consult a physician about the need for immunization or prophylactic medication.