Monsoon-Proof Your Health: Tips To Stay Fit And Well

While the summer rains provide respite from the scorching heat, the damp environment of the monsoon season creates ideal breeding conditions for germs and diseases. Despite being a highly anticipated time of the year, the rainy season can foster an unhealthy and disease-prone environment for individuals who fail to take adequate precautions.

A compromised immune system increases your susceptibility to a wide range of illnesses, ranging from mild to severe, especially during the monsoon season. To ensure your safety and well-being during this time, here are some common monsoon diseases according to their modes of transmission with invaluable monsoon health tips to keep in mind:

A. Waterborne diseases
Rainfall can contaminate various water sources, such as rivers, lakes, and wells, by washing pollutants, debris, and microbial pathogens into them. Consumption of contaminated water can give rise to waterborne diseases, which include the following:

1. Typhoid: It is caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. The common symptoms of typhoid include constipation, abdominal pain, prolonged high fever, headache, sore throat, joint pain, and vomiting.

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2. Cholera: A potentially life-threatening disease, cholera is primarily caused by poor sanitation, lack of hygiene, and contaminated food and water consumption. It is usually accompanied by diarrhea and dehydration. Some common symptoms of cholera are low blood pressure, muscle cramps, rapid heart rate, and dry mucous membranes.

Follow these tips to prevent the transmission of waterborne illnesses such as cholera and typhoid:

-Maintain good hygiene practices, such as washing hands thoroughly with soap and clean water before eating or preparing food, and after using the toilet.

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-Drink only purified or boiled water.
-Consume fresh and properly cooked food. Avoid eating raw or undercooked food, particularly meat and seafood.
-Ensure proper sanitation by keeping your surroundings clean and using clean and hygienic toilets.
-Familiarize yourself with the common symptoms of typhoid and seek medical attention promptly.

B. Airborne diseases
Airborne diseases are illnesses that can be transmitted through the air, typically through respiratory droplets or particles. These diseases pose a significant risk, as they can easily spread from person to person. Some of the examples are:

1. Viral fever: Although common throughout the year, viral fever tends to be more prevalent during the monsoon season. Symptoms commonly associated with viral fever include fatigue, dizziness, body chills, weakness, and joint and muscle pain.

2. Influenza: Often triggered by weather changes and temperature fluctuations, it is a rapidly spreading viral infection. Here are some notable symptoms: fever, sweating, muscle aches, nasal congestion, sore throat, and persistent dry cough.

While it may be challenging to prevent viral fever or influenza entirely, you can take steps to minimize your risk. These include:

-Drink plenty of water during the rainy season to aid in toxin removal. Opt for warm beverages like turmeric milk, herbal tea, and soups for added warmth and throat soothing.

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-Strengthen your immunity and fight seasonal infections by consuming foods rich in vitamin C. Include oranges, lemons, amla, fresh vegetables, and broccoli in your diet.

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-Don’t delay diagnostic tests for diseases with common symptoms like fever, cold-like symptoms, and joint/muscle pain. Avoid self-medication and consult a doctor promptly for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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C. Mosquito-borne diseases
Mosquito-borne diseases are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. These diseases include Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria, all of which can be spread to humans by mosquitoes.

1. Malaria: It is transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes and tends to increase during the monsoon season due to waterlogging, which creates favorable breeding conditions for mosquitoes. Symptoms of malaria include fever, body pain, chills, and sweating.

2. Dengue fever: It is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in stagnant water. After being bitten, it takes four to seven days for dengue fever to develop. Common symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, rashes, headache, low platelet count, and hypersensitivity.
To prevent transmission of diseases via mosquitos, it is important to follow these preventive measures:

-Eliminate the accumulated stagnant waters from your surroundings, such as flower pots, buckets, and discarded containers.
-Use mosquito repellents to protect your kids from mosquito bites.

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-When outdoors, especially during peak mosquito activity times like dawn and dusk, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes to minimize exposed skin and reduce the chances of mosquito bites.
-Install mosquito screens and nets to create a physical barrier against mosquitoes.

If you experience symptoms such as high fever, body aches, rashes, or other signs of mosquito-borne illnesses, seek medical attention promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment. Access professional healthcare advice today!

D. Stomach infections
Viral gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu, is a contagious illness that impacts the stomach and intestines. It is prevalent during the monsoon season due to the consumption of unhygienic food and drinks. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, headache, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.

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Common stomach infections during this time include:

1. Dysentery and Diarrhea: Amoebic dysentery or bacterial-induced diarrhea can cause stomach pain, loose motions, and nausea.

2. Hepatitis A and Jaundice: Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that leads to liver inflammation. It is a vaccine-preventable disease. Poor sanitation, unhygienic eating habits, and contaminated water and food can result in liver dysfunction, characterized by yellowing of the eyes (jaundice), yellow urine, white stools, and stomach pain. Increased levels of bilirubin cause the yellow coloration.

Tips to prevent stomach infections include:

-Consume water with electrolytes to replenish lost fluids and maintain energy levels.
-Opt for easily digestible, home-cooked, and safe food to aid in faster recovery.
-Vaccinate against diseases like typhoid and hepatitis A.
-Eat freshly prepared food and avoid items sitting out for long periods.

While the monsoon is the time to enjoy your hot cup of coffee, staying vigilant and safeguarding against common monsoon infections is crucial. If you or a family member experience any symptoms of monsoon diseases, prioritize seeking immediate medical assistance instead of relying on self-diagnosis or over-the-counter remedies. Your health and well-being deserve professional care this monsoon season!

(The article is written by Dr.Subita Alagh, Senior Executive, and reviewed by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor)

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