Here’s a not so pleasant subject, skin infections. Coming from a jiu-jitsu/wrestling background, nasty things like ringworm and Staph (Staphylococcus) were always on our radar. We went to great lengths to keep the mats at our gym clean and routinely preached the vital importance of good hygiene to our athletes as prevention. It seems to me that down here, the warm, moist air of the tropics combined with the almost endless number of things that can bite you (bite, scratch, cut, prick, etc.), provides an even greater chance of contracting some similar malady.
This particular topic was brought up on the beach yesterday afternoon at Roger’s (yes, we’re back at Hog Island), not all that pleasant, I’ll admit. The two subjects of that particular conversation unfortunately let whatever infection they had contracted spread without receiving proper care. Not a good thing! We had another friend acquire a Staph infection earlier this season and yet another pick up some mysterious jungle rot, both requiring antibiotics to heal.
The other day, when Rebecca and I climbed the mountains on Union Island, I ended up getting both my foot and hand pierced by one of the sharp plants on the hillside. We both also walked away with multiple scratches. Not wanting to have any of these cuts or punctures lead to an infection, we each took care to clean the wounds after we returned to our boat. It seems to me that cleanliness is the number one key to preventing infections from setting in and if symptoms such as redness or swelling are noticed, getting prompt care is important. As we’ve come to learn, left unchecked, some of these infections can become quite serious.
Socializing on the beach. Thankfully the vast majority of conversations where of subjects much more pleasant than the topic of this post.