Common Monsoon Diseases To Watch Out For & Ways To Prevent Them

With the northern part of India burning under a relentless heatwave, the monsoon has arrived as a welcome relief for the Northeast and Southern regions. While this season brings much-needed respite from the scorching temperatures, it also introduces some of the most common monsoon diseases. With the increased humidity and water-logging, certain diseases become more prevalent. But don’t worry, we have got you covered!

Here are some of the most common monsoon diseases to watch out for and some handy tips on how to prevent them. Let’s make sure you stay healthy and enjoy the rainy season to the fullest!

A. Diseases Spread By Mosquitoes

1. Dengue Fever
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that can cause severe flu-like symptoms, including high fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.

2. Malaria

Another mosquito-borne disease, malaria is caused by a parasite and is transmitted through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Symptoms include chills, fever, and flu-like illness.

3. Chikungunya

Chikungunya is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and can cause sudden rise in fever and severe joint pain, often accompanied by headache, nausea, fatigue, muscle pain, and rash.

Prevention tips:
Eliminate stagnant water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so ensure there’s no standing water around your home.
-Use mosquito repellents: Apply repellent creams or use mosquito nets while sleeping.
-Wear protective clothing: Long-sleeved shirts and long pants can reduce mosquito bites.
-Use mosquito nets: Sleeping under a mosquito net can minimize the risk of mosquito bites.
-Indoor spraying: Use insecticides to kill mosquitoes indoors.
-Community efforts: Participate in local efforts to control mosquito populations.

B. Diseases Spread By Air

1. Cold and Flu:

The two most common viral infections cold and flu, often arise due to sudden temperature changes during the monsoon. Those with weak immune systems, especially children and the elderly, are more susceptible. Symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, fever, and chills.

Prevention tips:
-Stay Dry: Always keep yourself dry, especially if you’ve been caught in the rain. Change out of wet clothes as soon as possible to avoid catching a chill.
Strengthen your immunity: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants to enhance your immunity. Consider supplements like vitamin C and zinc with a doctor’s advice.
Maintain good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs. Additionaly, avoid touching your face, especially your nose, eyes and mouth.
Get adequate sleep: Ensure you get enough rest to allow your body to recover and maintain a strong immune system.
Avoid crowded places: During peak monsoon season, try to stay away from crowded places where viruses can easily spread. If unavoidable, wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Cough/sneeze etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
-Good ventilation: Ensure your homes are well-ventilated at all times

Diseases Spread By Water-logging

1. Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread through water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. It can cause high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, chills, redness in the eyes, and vomiting.

Prevention tips:
Avoid flood waters: Try to stay away from floodwater or waterlogged areas.
Wear protective gear: If you need to wade through water, wear protective clothing and footwear.
Good hygiene: Maintain good personal hygiene and ensure your pets are vaccinated.

Diseases Spread By Contaminated Food & Water

1. Typhoid
Another most common monsoon disease is Typhoid fever, which is a bacterial infection spread through contaminated food and water. It causes prolonged fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and constipation or diarrhea.

2. Gastroenteritis
Commonly known as stomach flu, gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, typically resulting from bacterial or viral infections. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and cramps.

3. Jaundice
Jaundice is a water-borne disease that is spread through contaminated food, water, and poor sanitation. It leads to liver dysfunction and symptoms like weakness, fatigue, yellow urine, yellowing of the eyes, and vomiting.

Prevention tips:
Safe drinking water: Drink only boiled or bottled water.
Proper food hygiene: Ensure food is cooked thoroughly and eat freshly prepared meals.
Vaccination: Get vaccinated if you live in or are traveling to high-risk areas.
Hand hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially before eating.
Avoid street food: Street food can be tempting but may not always be hygienic during the monsoon.

Diseases Spread By Fungus

1. Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet, particularly between the toes. It thrives in warm, moist environments, making the monsoon season conducive to its spread. It can cause itching, stinging, and burning sensations on the affected skin.

Prevention tips:
Keep feet dry: Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing or getting them wet.
Wear breathable footwear: Choose shoes made of breathable materials like leather or mesh.
Wash socks frequently: Use moisture-wicking socks and change them if they become damp.
Use antifungal powders: Apply these to your feet and shoes as directed.

2. Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)
Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection that can affect the skin on various parts of the body. It appears as a red or silver rash in the shape of a ring, which may be itchy and inflamed. Ringworm spreads through direct contact with an infected person or animal, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Prevention tips:
Maintain personal hygiene: Wash your hands regularly, especially after touching pets or infected individuals.
Avoid sharing personal items: Do not share clothing, towels, or personal items with someone who has ringworm.
Keep skin clean and dry: Shower after activities that cause sweating and dry your skin thoroughly.

3. Fungal Nail Infections (Onychomycosis)

Fungal nail infections occur when fungi invade one or more of the nails. They typically start at the edge or corner of the nail and can spread deeper into the nail over time. Fungal nail infections are more common in toenails than fingernails and can cause the nails to become discolored, thickened, and brittle.

Prevention tips:
Keep nails trimmed and clean: Regularly trim your nails and clean them with soap and water.
Wear protective footwear: Use waterproof shoes or sandals in communal showers or around pools.
Avoid tight-fitting shoes: Opt for shoes that allow your feet to breathe and avoid excessive sweating.

Final takeaway
Monsoon season doesn’t have to mean falling ill. By taking some simple preventive measures, you can enjoy the rain without worrying about these common diseases. Remember to keep your environment clean, drink safe water, maintain good hygiene, and take precautions against mosquito bites.

Furthermore, timely vaccinations are vital in preventing many monsoon diseases. Equally important is seeking medical attention at the first sign of illness, ensuring early diagnosis and proper treatment.


Q. How can we prevent getting sick in monsoon?

Preventing monsoon diseases primarily involves taking preventive measures against common illnesses that tend to spike during the rainy season. Here are some effective strategies:

-Regularly wash hands with soap and clean water, especially before eating and after using the toilet. This helps prevent infections such as gastroenteritis.
-Ensure drinking water is purified or boiled. Avoid drinking untreated water or beverages with ice from unreliable sources.
-Consume freshly cooked and hot food. Avoid eating raw vegetables, salads, and street food that may have been exposed to contaminated water or flies.
-Prevent mosquito breeding by eliminating stagnant water around your living area. Use mosquito nets, repellents, and wear long sleeves and pants to avoid mosquito bites, which can transmit diseases like dengue and malaria.
-Add foods like amla, turmeric, honey, garlic, tulsi and giloy in diet to enhance immunity. Along wth that try eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to strengthen your immune system. Get enough rest and exercise regularly to stay healthy.
-During heavy rains or floods, wear appropriate footwear to prevent fungal infections and injuries. Use umbrellas or raincoats to stay dry.
-Ensure vaccinations are up to date, particularly for diseases like influenza and whooping cough.
-Be aware of disease outbreaks in your area and follow health advisories. Seek medical attention promptly if you experience symptoms like fever, diarrhea, or respiratory issues.
-Keep your surroundings clean and dispose of waste properly to prevent breeding grounds for pests and pathogens.

Q. Why are diseases more common during the monsoons?
Diseases tend to be more common during the monsoon season due to several factors that create favorable conditions for the spread of pathogens:

-Monsoon weather is characterized by high humidity levels, which create a conducive environment for the growth and spread of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
-Heavy rainfall often leads to waterlogging and stagnant water around residential areas which becomes breeding grounds for mosquitoes which transmit dengue and chikungunya.
-Flooding and heavy rains can contaminate drinking water sources with sewage and other pollutants. Consumption of contaminated water can lead to waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and gastroenteritis.
-Inadequate sanitation facilities and improper waste disposal practices during the monsoon can further contribute to the spread of diseases. Sewage overflow and improper drainage can contaminate the environment and food sources.
-Mosquitoes, flies, and other insects breed in stagnant water and thrive in the warm and humid conditions of the monsoon. They act as vectors for diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and Japanese encephalitis.
-Changes in weather patterns, coupled with seasonal allergies and respiratory irritants, can weaken immune systems, making individuals more susceptible to infections.
-During the monsoon, people often spend more time indoors in crowded spaces, increasing the likelihood of person-to-person transmission of respiratory infections and other communicable diseases.

Q. Which disease is common in children in the monsoons?

Some of the most common disease observe din kids during monsoon are:

Viral infections: Some of the most common are influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that can spread easily during the monsoon due to crowded indoor spaces and changes in weather.
Diarrheal diseases: Waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, and gastroenteritis are prevalent during the monsoon, often due to contaminated water sources and poor sanitation.
Vector-borne diseases: Vector-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, and Japanese encephalitis are significant concerns during the monsoon season.
Skin Infections: Fungal infections such as ringworm and dermatitis are more common during the monsoon due to increased humidity and exposure to contaminated water or soil.
Eye Infections: Conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other eye infections can spread easily among children during the monsoon, especially in schools and daycare settings.
Allergies and asthma: Increased humidity and allergens from mold and damp environments can exacerbate allergies and trigger asthma attacks in susceptible children.

Q. How does dengue spread and what are its symptoms?

Dengue fever is a viral infection primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of infected female Aedes mosquitoes. The virus replicates in the mosquito’s salivary glands. When the mosquito feeds on another person, it injects the virus into their bloodstream. Some of the common signs are:
-Sudden onset of high fever, often reaching up to 104°F
-Severe headache, typically located behind the eyes.
-Severe joint and muscle pain.
-Rash that often appears two to five days after the onset of fever.
-Extreme tiredness and weakness.
-Some other symptoms are nausea, vomiting, mild bleeding

Q. What is the treatment for dengue?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for Dengue. Treatment focuses on supportive care, such as adequate hydration, pain relief (paracetamol, not NSAIDs like ibuprofen), and monitoring for complications. Severe cases may require hospitalization for fluid management and supportive therapy.

Q. What precautions can prevent malaria during the rainy season?
Preventing malaria during the rainy season, when mosquito populations typically increase, requires a combination of personal protective measures and community-based interventions. Here are important precautions to help prevent malaria:

-Use mosquito nets: Sleep under mosquito nets especially during nighttime when Anopheles mosquitoes, which transmit malaria, are active.
-Apply insect repellent: Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin, particularly during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
-Wear protective clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes to cover exposed skin, reducing the risk of mosquito bites.
-Stay indoors: If possible, stay indoors during peak mosquito biting times, typically from dusk to dawn.
-Eliminate mosquito breeding sites: Reduce standing water around your home where mosquitoes breed. Empty, clean, or cover containers that can hold water such as buckets, flower pots, and tires.
-Use Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS): If recommended by local health authorities, use insecticides to spray the inside walls of homes to kill mosquitoes that land on them.

Q. How can one avoid waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid?

-Boil water vigorously for at least one minute or use water purification tablets, chlorine, or iodine to disinfect water.
-Drink bottled water or water that has been properly treated and sealed. Avoid drinking untreated tap water or water from uncertain sources.
-Wash hands with soap and clean water before eating, preparing food, and after using the toilet.
-Ensure that all food, especially meat, poultry, and seafood, is cooked thoroughly and at a high temperature.
-Avoid consuming raw vegetables, salads, and fruits that cannot be peeled, especially in areas with poor sanitation.
-Choose food vendors and restaurants that maintain good hygiene practices. Ensure that food is freshly prepared and served hot.

Stay healthy and enjoy the showers!

(The article is written by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor)

CDC Yellow Book 2024. Available online:

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