Monsoons in India provide a welcome relief from the dry, hot spell that defines summers. Incessant rains bring waves of life to arid landscapes, but the cool showers also bring along a lot of diseases. While some of those illnesses are minor and can be managed without much effort, other diseases need prompt medical attention as they can quickly turn life-threatening. Water and vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue, pose significant health challenges for the population at large.
Why is there a higher propensity to fall ill during the monsoon season?
During monsoon, there is a change in temperature and humidity which causes viruses and bacteria in the environment to flare up as the temperature and humidity is favourable for cellular growth. “In monsoon, stagnation of water becomes a real challenge in India and this promotes the growth of bacteria that results in a lot of vector-borne diseases such as Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya,” says Dr. Amitava Ray, General Physician, Apollo 24|7.
Another class of diseases that are more prevalent in the monsoon season are water-borne diseases. Sewage water seeping and mixing with potable water is a major factor for the prevalence of water-borne diseases in India. We need to be cautious about the quality of the water we drink to prevent water-borne diseases.
Watch Out for These Symptoms
Since the most common monsoon-related diseases are classified into vector-borne and water-borne diseases, their symptoms may differ. “Malaria is a vector-borne disease that is caused by either of the 4 Plasmodium family parasites. While the most common symptoms of malaria are high fever and chills, other symptoms may include fatigue and weakness,” adds Dr Ray.
On the other hand, the tell-tale sign of dengue infection is severe body pain and falling platelet count. Similarly, chikungunya results in severe joint pain which can persist for weeks or months.
Water-borne diseases often display symptoms like vomiting, stomach ache, and abdominal pain. They mostly occur due to the consumption of street food prepared with contaminated and unhygienic sources of water along with accelerated insect growth like flies and mosquitos.
Ways To Stay Safe During the Monsoon Season
We have to follow basic hygiene rules to stay safe during the monsoon season. Here are the other ways with which you can stay safe during the monsoon season
- If the water is not purified using water filters or is not mineralised, boil it before consumption.
- Disinfect your hands using either a soap or a hand sanitiser before to steer clear of infections.
- “Since mosquitos account for three of the most severe monsoon illnesses, eradicating breeding mosquitoes from your neighbourhood is one progressive step toward preventing monsoon illnesses. This can be done by clearing out stagnated water in which the mosquitos breed,” says Dr Ray.
- Using mosquito nets and wearing full sleeve clothes can also help in preventing such illnesses
Apart from these measures, one should go for clinical tests if they are observing symptoms or might have a likelihood of contracting these diseases.
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