Rainy Day Malady
As magical as the Indian monsoon is, the onset of rains between July to September brings with it a crowd of diseases. Wouldn't you prefer curling up in bed listening to rhythmic raindrops and being in sync with the dancing trees rather than being bedridden to a host of bacteria and viruses?
The excessive moisture in the rain facilitates the microbes to thrive hence there is a risk of diseases spreading faster in the Monsoon. Let the rains lift up your spirits and not dampen them with these wellness tips. Make the best of monsoon with food indulgences and childlike wonder by staying away from common mosquito-borne, air-borne and water-borne diseases.
Monsoon becomes the breeding season for mosquitoes. These disease-causing parasites breed on stagnant water bodies, water channels and streams. These parasites are found in urban homes due to change in lifestyle and poor hygiene. Common mosquito illnesses to look out for are Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya. These are types of viral infection always accompanied by fever, fatigue and arthritis-type symptoms.
Symptoms of Mosquito-Borne Diseases
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sudden high fever
- Stiff muscles
- Severe headache and confusion
Tips for Staying Safe From Bloodsucking Mosquitoes
- Hang mosquito nets in your house or netted mesh to your windows.
- Keep mosquito repellent switched on at all times.
- Never leave large storages of water open.
- Wash your restrooms regularly and properly dispose of sanitary material.
- Wear repellent creams like odomos while stepping outside. There are also repellent stickers for children.
Children are more susceptible to water-borne diseases as their immunity is in progress to fully develop. WHO claims that 3.4 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases each year. Can you believe that diarrhoea kills more lives than any other water-borne diseases In India?(1) The prevalence of other water-borne diseases like Typhoid, Cholera, Jaundice, Leptospirosis and Hepatitis A is high during the monsoon mainly because of the exposure to contaminated food and water. Cooking and cleaning with water that is polluted with industrial waste, human waste, animal waste, garbage, untreated sewage, chemical effluent results in water-borne diseases.
Symptoms of Water-Borne Diseases
- Typhoid - Symptoms include high fever, headache, stomach pain, weakness, vomiting and loose stools.
- Cholera - Nausea and vomiting. Vomiting occurs especially in the early stages of cholera and can last for hours. The key symptom is diarrhoea.
- Jaundice- Yellowing of the skin, dark urine, joint pain, a loss of appetite, pain in the abdomen, liver enlargement, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and fever are possible symptoms.
- Leptospirosis - High fever, headache, bleeding, muscle pain, chills, red eyes and vomiting are some symptoms.
- Hepatitis A - Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and low-grade fever.
- Always wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
- Boil your water before drinking it or install water purifiers.
- Keep your food covered at all times.
- Avoid outside street food or foods left in the open.
- Make sure the potholes and drains in your neighbourhood are maintained.
- Be up to date on your child’s vaccinations.
Before Covid, airborne diseases were mostly mild and caused minor infections in adults. Common flu, Viral fever, Cold, Cough, and Sore throat were not much of a concern. However, due to Covid, senior citizens and children are more prone to infections during this season. Monsoon can become quite challenging to battle the virus, hence taking extra precautions become mandatory(2).
Symptoms Of Air Borne Diseases
- Inflammation of your nose, throat, sinuses, or lungs.
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
Common Symptoms Of Covid
- Dry cough
- Loss of taste or smell
Serious Symptoms Of Covid
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure
- Loss of speech or movement
How To Stay Safe
- Get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- Wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing without fail.
- Keep yourself and your children away from people who are already infected. Ensure they wash their hands and feet thoroughly once home from outdoors.
- Make sure that your house is well ventilated at all times.
- Avoid sharing dishes and maintain proper hygiene.
Let’s enjoy the monsoon safely by taking our vitamins, exercising and prioritising health. Contact your primary physician immediately if you recognise any irregularities in your health. We can face these challenging times together by being well informed and adopting simple but effective measures.