CONTACT: Carol Schliesinger Public Relations Manager/207-8172
SAN ANTONIO – (Apr. 6, 2017) – As part of National Public Health Week, Metro Health is unveiling a new infographic each day that brings to light public health concerns you could have at home without even knowing it. Today we delve into your backyard to address prevention of mosquito-borne diseases, heat precautions, outdoor air quality and fitness tips.
Backyards have the potential to be prime breeding areas for mosquitoes.. With the risk of Zika Virus transmission and previous localized transmission of West Nile Virus, it’s important now more than ever to prevent mosquito bites by applying bug spray that contains Picaridin, wearing long sleeves and pants when spending time outside and removing standing water both inside and outside your home. Also to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs, once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water. It’s important to remember that while mosquito season is considered to be March through October, mosquitoes can breed year-round in San Antonio.
Spending time outside, whether walking, gardening or exercising, can strain the body quickly when temperatures start to climb. Make sure to stay informed about forecasted temperatures as well as the heat index, which combines air temperature and relative humidity. Take precautions including proper hydration and protect yourself from the sun. Additionally, remember to check on your neighbors, especially the elderly, children or those with special needs, as they are more vulnerable to sickness extreme heat may cause. Help ensure they have access to heat relief and proper hydration.
Air quality is a high priority for the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. San Antonio ozone levels have exceeded the newest national clean air standard established in 2015. Although local ozone levels are currently considered in attainment by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ozone that occurs at ground level can affect people’s respiratory health. Check with your news station for ozone health alert days and consider moving your activities indoors on those days.
Physical inactivity is one of the root causes of our high obesity rates. To increase physical activity in neighborhoods, Metro Health has supported park improvements, efforts to increase walkability and bikeability including the passing of the Complete Streets policy, a Safe Passing Ordinance for bicyclists (bikes), the expansion of bike lanes and trails, and the creation of programs to increase physical activity access like Fitness in the Parks and Siclovia. If you are trying to increase physical activity consider backyard yoga, taking Fitness in the Park classes or choosing walking or bicycling as a mode of transportation.
Infographics are available online for download at www.sanantonio.gov/health
During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. For over 20 years, APHA has served as the organizer of NPHW. Every year, the Association develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about issues related to each year's theme. APHA creates new NPHW materials each year that can be used during and after NPHW to raise awareness about public health and prevention.