Hollywood, MD – It’s the last thing you were expecting during the summer. You awake and feel your head burning. “I’ve had this feeling in January, but it’s July. It’s summer. It can be the flu can it?”

Health experts will tell you that influenza during the summer is not out of the realm of possibility. However, as registered nurse Kristina Duda stated in a story posted on the web site VeryWell, “it’s extremely unlikely.” You could have symptoms of a virus other than influenza, perhaps gastroenteritis, which Duda stated is often incorrectly identified as “stomach flu.”

Should your flu-like symptoms—fever, body aches, cough, headache, chills, exhaust, fatigue, congestion, vomiting and diarrhea—linger, contact your doctor immediately.

In a 2014 article in Prevention magazine, writer Caroline Praderio explained that the fluey feeling in the summer could be something more serious—Lyme disease. “Lyme disease is a serious summer concern. Left untreated, this tick-borne infection can wreak havoc on your joints, nervous system and heart,” Praderio stated. “Making matters worse, we not be able to recognize the infection if it hits us.”

Praderio referenced a Connecticut Lyme Research Alliance press release that cautioned “during summer, flu-like symptoms—fever, chills, aches and exhaustion—could be a sign of Lyme.”

In a 2008 ABC News story, medical unit writer Radha Chitale explained there are some red flags that can alert you to a having a more serious illness. “In general, the longer an illness lasts, the more serious it may be,” Chitale stated. “This criteria is different for different age groups. Children, for example, tend to have about eight colds or flu viruses each year, lasting a few weeks. Adults, on the other hand, have about three of these infections each year and they might last about one week.”

If you’re a fighter, you’ll be pleased to know that yoga expert Beth Shaw has a list of ways to fight off the summer flu. At the top of the list, Shaw says to “stay hydrated and each regularly.” Foods that provide the digestive system with probiotics are crucial for maintaining good intestinal health. “When the digestive system is working properly, germs have less opportunity to grab hold,” said Shaw. Foods rich in the often maligned Vitamin E also help ward off the “summer flu.” Shaw said Vitamin E foods or supplements “have an added weapon against bacteria and viruses” and also “helps in the fight against heart disease and cancer. Good food sources are grain foods and vegetable oils. Supplements are recommended to reach the daily requirement of the vitamin. Check with your doctor on the dose.”

If it turns out all you have is a summer cold, remember spending time outdoors, as opposed to being bedridden indoors, is an options. According to the web site dummies.com, “spending a little time relaxing in the sun can be good for you since ultra violet rays can kill cold viruses.”

Here’s wishing you great health this summer!

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com