Interview with Jerry Genesio of Natural Unseen Hazards
When camping what should a camper do when it comes to their hygiene? Are there any methods or procedures you recommend they do?
1. Every day while camping, dont turn the lights or lanterns off before
youve thoroughly checked every square inch of your body for TICKS. It
cannot be over-emphasized. The price in terms of Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis,
Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Disease, Tularemia, and other lesser known
tick-borne pathogens is simply too high.
2. After washing, if you will be exposed to MOSQUITOES and/or TICKS, replace the insect repellant youve washed off. Again, the price in terms of the above pathogens as well as West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, (in Florida and southern Texas, Dengue Fever), and other lesser known mosquito-borne pathogens is simply too high.
In your honest opinion, what disease should a camper be most concerned about?
I honestly cant say there is one potentially fatal disease that is the most fearsome. I advise campers, hikers, and others who enjoy the great North American outdoors not to be afraid, but to be aware of the pathogens that lurk in the wildness of raw nature. Know that any animal can be infected with and can transmit RABIES. Were most familiar with mad rabies, but there is also a dumb rabies and animals infected with it can appear to be tame; their bite, scratch, and saliva, whether an adult or a baby, is just as deadly. Never feed or touch a wild animal.
Another potentially fatal disease that campers in particular need be concerned about is HANTAVIRUS. It can be present in the feces or urine of rodents, especially deer mice, and sweeping or cleaning an enclosed area where the virus is present can make it airborne and, if it is inhaled, the infection can be fatal. Be sure camping areas being cleaned are well ventilated.
What supplies should a camper bring with him or her before they start there camping adventure in order to prevent disease?
1. Insect repellant. For a Consumer Reports evaluation of different brands
see May 26, 2010 post on Natural Unseen Hazards at http://naturalunseenhazards.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/6-insect-repellents-get-high-marks-consumer-reports-health-tests-the-ability-of-bug-repellents-to-keep-insects-at-bay/
2. I also highly recommend Bear repellant, which can be used to deter not only charging bears and other naturally agressive animals, but rabid animals as well.
3. Equipment for boiling water. The purest looking stream or brook can be contaminated with GIARDIASIS (aka BEAVER FEVER). Thousands of cases are reported to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every year.
According to the CDC (Center for Diesase Control) before an individual or family begins there camping vacation they recommend the family get vaccinated. Do you agree with this sentiment? or is that over reaching for a simple RV/camping vacation?
1. In U.S. be sure TETANUS vaccination booster schedule is current. In my opinion,
other vaccinations are a matter of personal choice or individual need.
2. If camping with horses or other pack animals, they should be vaccinated for protection against RABIES, WEST NILE VIRUS, and EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS.
How can an individual or family safeguard themselves against the threat against carbon monoxide poisoning?
I have no special expertise in this area but would certainly advise against using fossil fuel heaters/cookers indoors, including kerosene, propane, and charcoal.
This question is directly related to camping but I believe it's an interesting question to ask. If you could go back in time and eradicate any disease which disease would you choose and why?
Bubonic plague bacteria and the various influenza viral strains have probably killed more people than any other disease so, at least in terms of sheer numbers and lost human potential, Id have to choose these two.
Thanks Jerry Genesio. Please visit his blog !