Monsoon & Diseases
Every monsoon season, the risk of catching various diseases is extremely high due to unhygienic conditions and not adhering to basic preventive measures.
The rains bring along with it dollops of relief from the scorching heat and also a sense of ecstasy amongst children and youngsters who love drenching themselves out in the rain. But, it is a busy season for laboratories, clinics and hospitals all across the country as with monsoon arrives swarms of unwanted and harmful viruses and diseases that leave no stone unturned to reach out to the common man in various forms. Cold and Cough, Malaria, Dengue, Stomach Infection, Diarrhoea, Fever, Typhoid and Pneumonia are some of the diseases which make it to the top of the list.
Every monsoon season, the risk of catching various diseases is extremely high due to unhygienic conditions and not adhering to basic preventive measures. Many of these monsoon diseases remain undiagnosed until they progress to undesirable complications. This is why early diagnosis and treatment of diseases in rainy season is important. Here are some common diseases which are highly prevalent during this season that you should be aware about. It is also advisable to understand the preventive measures of these diseases and precautions that you and your family can take as well.
Sudden weather change often causes viral fever characterized by fatigue, chills, body aches and fever. The illness is contagious and spreads through infection droplets in the air or by coming into physical contact with infected secretions. General duration of a viral fever lasts from 3 to 7 days, with the severity of the fever being the highest in the first three days..
The general treatment if side effects and symptoms using OTC drugs in consultation with their doctor, antihistamines, decongestants and antipyretic drugs are usually recommended, Viral disease are generally self-limiting and generally do not need antibiotic unless there is a secondary infection.
Some Preventive measures –
- One must ensure that they do not get wet in the rain or stay in wet clothes for a long period
- Wash their hands often,
- Boost their immunity by eating Vitamin C rich foods and green leafy vegetables. They must also keep a distance from an infected person.
Walking along puddles filled with mud and amidst flood waters are common instances during monsoons. Drinking water from food outlets is also a common phenomenon for people living in cities. But, with the start of monsoons, cases of water-borne diseases like typhoid rise on a large scale. Read through the list of symptoms and causes of typhoid and secure yourself from the disease.
- Typhoid is caused by the bacterium S. Typhi, which is transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated with feces from an infected person.
- Poor sanitation and contaminated drinking water, direct contact with infected person's urine are other causes of spread of typhoid.
Symptoms : Typhoid signs and symptoms develop gradually, 1-3 weeks after exposure to the disease. Listed below are a few symptoms :
- Fever, often as high as 103 or 104 F (39.4 or 40 0C)
- Weakness and fatigue
- Sore throat
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
Preventive Measures : Preventive measures to be adopted for avoiding the contraction of typhoid can be as follows:
Influenza (Cold and Flu):
Common cold is one of the most commonly occurring during the monsoon season. It is highly contagious disease due to the spread of virus in the air which infects the upper respiratory tract and thus affects the nose and the throat. Symptoms involve runny or stuffy nose, body ache, throat irritation and soreness and fever. It is always advisable to consult a physician and get the required medicines prescribed for getting cured from the infection
The best way to prevent common cold is to have a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet regular which will develop the immune system of the body and improves the body resistance.
Another most common and deadly bacterial disease that spreads during monsoon is “cholera” This disease is caused by contaminated food and water and also poor hygienic conditions .Common symptoms of cholera are severe diarrhoea with watery stool ’rice water stools” and vomiting which causes immediate water loss and muscle cramps. Diarrhoea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. A rapid dipstick test is available to determine the presence of V. cholera bacteria from stool sample
Cholera requires immediate treatment because the disease can cause death within hours. The goal is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes using a simple rehydration solution, oral rehydration salts (ORS). The ORS solution is available as a powder that can be reconstituted in boiled or bottled water. Antibiotics are not a necessary part of cholera treatment.
Preventive measures include providing clean drinking water, better sanitation, and better handwashing
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One of the most common monsoon-related diseases, malaria, is caused by certain species of mosquitoes breeding in the dirty water. Since, there is a problem of water logging during the rainy season, mosquitoes get conducive conditions to breed .This disease is spread by Female Anopheles mosquito. Most deaths are caused by P. falciparum and is the most dangerous type of malaria also known as Cerebral malaria. Other forms of malaria are P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae
Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films, or with antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests.
It is characterized by fever, body ache, chills, and sweating. If untreated, it can lead to complications like jaundice, severe anaemia or even liver and kidney failure. Malaria is treated with antimalarial medications successfully.
Preventive measures –
- Take an antimalarial drug as a precautionary measure in mosquito prone areas.
- Also take measures to prevent mosquito bites such as wearing full sleeve clothing.
- Application of antirepellant mosquito creams and Electronic mosquito repellent devices can be used during the monsoon season to avoid mosquito’s at home.
- Accumulation of dirty water must be kept in check to prevent malaria mosquito breeding.
- Insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) and Indoor residual spraying (IRS) have been shown to be highly effective in preventing malaria in your neighbourhood and can reduce breeding of mosquitos also.
Among them, Jaundice, Dengue, Hepatitis A, Gastroenteritis etc are also common disease arrises during rainy season. Almost disease can be prevented through higeine and sanitation.
Ashok Bhusal (Pharmacist)
Annapurana Pharmacy P. Ltd.