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Infectious Diseases Likely to Aggravate in Summers: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Summer season is a breeding season for the multiplication of pathogens. Read this article to know about a few infectious diseases common during summertime.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. J. N. Naidu

Published At February 26, 2024
Reviewed AtMarch 5, 2024


The summer season calls for spring and joy. But with zeal and joy, it also invites various pathogenic organisms to multiply. This can become a cause for health concern as these infectious pathogens may aggravate the incidence of infectious diseases during summer. The summer season usually commences in May or June and lasts till September.

With rising mercury levels, the susceptibility to developing various infectious diseases rapidly increases because the summer season is the time of the year when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites thrive and spread to their full capacity. There are various infectious diseases that are likely to aggravate due to scorching heat. Some infectious diseases peak during the summer season. Health issues associated with these summer infections should not be avoided, and all the preventive and therapeutic steps should be taken to prevent the spread and occurrence of these infectious diseases.

What Are the Common Infectious Diseases Likely to Aggravate in Summers?

1. Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease: It is a viral infectious disease caused by the Coxsackie virus (an enterovirus). The disease becomes extremely contagious during summertime, especially among young children and people who stay in unhygienic and overcrowded places. As the temperature and humidity increase, the risk of the spread of this contagious disease also increases. In the United States, hand, foot, and mouth disease is most common during the summer and fall seasons.

The clinical symptoms include high fever, pain in the throat, mouth ulcers on the tongue, cheeks, and gums, and red-colored rashes on the palms and soles. There is a loss of appetite, and the child may become very fussy. The disease outbreak usually occurs in summer at preschool centers, summer camps, and children's foster care centers.

Treatment: The infection is self-limiting, and local topical anesthetics can be given to reduce pain in mouth sores.

2. Upper Respiratory Infections: Parainfluenza viruses rapidly multiply and spread during the summer season in hot and humid weather. Pneumonia, bronchiolitis, acute laryngotracheitis (croup), and cold are some common respiratory infections caused by the virus. Even certain enteroviruses also cause colds and coughs in people. Both enterovirus and parainfluenza viruses can be called summer cold viruses.

The symptoms include fever, body malaise, cough, stuffy nose, weakness, muscle pain, headache, and bad throat. A characteristic barking cough sound is produced in croup patients. Approximately 3 to 4 percent of children are affected in the United States alone.

Treatment: Plenty of rest, proper medications, keeping the body well-hydrated, and warm saline gargles are therapeutic measures.

3. Whooping Cough: Whooping cough (pertussis) is a contagious viral infection that can typically aggravate during the summer and fall seasons. The cases may peak during summer. It has become an endemic disease in the United States of America. The outbreak usually occurs in childcare centers and hospitals. The incidence of whooping cough cases is on a surge in the United States. It is a highly infectious respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis (a bacterium). The clinical symptoms include nasal congestion, fatigue, sneezing, runny nose, fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Treatment: Usually, antibiotics and painkillers are recommended by doctors to treat whooping cough.

4. Mumps: It is also a common viral infection that can become highly contagious during summer in children. But, the infection can be prevented if the child is vaccinated against the virus. In the United States, the incidence is very low due to effective vaccination. The parotid salivary glands become tender, swollen, and painful.

Treatment: Painkillers to alleviate pain and proper rest with fluid intake are usually advised by the doctor.

5. Measles: Measles is also a very contagious infection that is likely to aggravate in summer. The symptoms resemble those of summer flu clinical symptoms. A measles rash may appear along with fever, cold, cough, and white spots inside the mouth.

The disease can be eliminated by executing an effective vaccination program. The US almost eliminated the disease, but the infection is still prevalent in some parts of Asia and Africa.

6. Typhoid: The typhoid cases surge as the scorching summer heat intensifies. Typhoid (enteric fever) is caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi and paratyphi, which is most commonly found in contaminated food and water in unhygienic places. During summer, people enjoy various fruits, juices, and drinks at marketplaces, which can result in an increased number of typhoid cases.

Symptoms include fever, pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite, diarrhea, low energy, and headache.

Treatment: An antibiotic course is suggested by the doctor to treat the disease.

7. Cholera: It is a waterborne infectious disease that may aggravate in summer. Cholera is characterized by an acute diarrhoeal episode. It is primarily caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Cholera outbreaks during the summer season are common in countries with hot and humid weather conditions. Inadequate sanitation and contamination of water bodies by feces are the main causative factors for cholera outbreaks during summertime.

Treatment: It consists of an adequate intake of water with proper medications and intravenous fluids.

8. Lyme Disease: The risk of Lyme disease increases during summertime, especially in the United States. Due to spending more time outdoors, there is a greater risk of tick bites. Ticks are mainly responsible for spreading the contagious disease. The symptoms are intensified in hot weather. Common clinical manifestations include tiredness, joint pain, and dizziness. Prolonged sun exposure should be avoided to prevent the severity of Lyme disease. The cases spike during the summer season, with more than 30000 to 40000 new cases in the US every year when the immature ticks become active for feeding.

Treatment: Oral antibiotic treatment is the mainstay of treatment.

What Are the Preventive Measures to Avoid Aggravation of Infectious Diseases In Summers?

  • Maintain Hydration: Plenty of water and fluids should be consumed during the summer season. Coconut water, lemon water, and fruits washed with clean water should be taken in summer. However, local tap water drinking should be discouraged to prevent the occurrence of water-borne diseases.

  • Loose-Fitting Garments: Loose, cotton, properly washed, pastel-colored garments should be worn in summer to reduce the risk of aggravation of infectious diseases.

  • Avoid Unnecessary Travels: One should take plenty of rest and avoid travels that are not required, especially in overcrowded and unhygienic places.

  • Avoid Sun Exposure: It is always recommended to avoid prolonged sun exposure and apply sunscreen when out in the sun. This will help prevent damage to the skin.

  • Good Personal Hygiene: The infections during summers are likely to aggravate in unhygienic and poorly sanitized areas. It is very crucial to maintain good personal hygiene by regularly washing hands with soap and water, taking regular baths, and avoiding the consumption of raw-cooked meat or food.

  • Effective Vaccination: Proper immunization is the key to preventing the occurrence of several infectious diseases among children.


Summertime is an apt season for the breeding of various pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The hot and humid weather acts as an aggravating factor for the spread of these infectious diseases. It is, therefore, very important to prevent the occurrence of such infectious diseases from aggravating during summer by maintaining good personal hygiene, eating clean food, and drinking fresh water. Avoiding visits to poorly sanitized and overcrowded places may also reduce the exacerbation of such infections.

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Dr. J. N. Naidu
Dr. J. N. Naidu

General Practitioner


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