For some, it’s a surreal experience, as they go on to explore exotic locations that are at their vivacious best; for others, it’s a struggle to reach their workplace, even as they fight rains, mostly with an umbrella, or with raincoats or jackets. It’s monsoon that makes the nature breathtakingly beautiful; and it is the same monsoon that troubles people – either by affecting their daily lives by torrential rains; or by stoking already widespread contagious diseases. When a majority of people struggle to find their old stock of paracetamol tablets, the same tablets they dilapidated the previous year anticipating they would never be used, you know the monsoons are hitting hard, and a flurry of contagious diseases are knocking the door, with a few of them having already set a foot in. While monsoon is home to quite a few contagious diseases, let’s take a look at seven diseases that are the most common and likely to affect you this monsoon.
Find below the 7 most contagious diseases that affect during monsoon:
Cold and Flu
While cold and flu can affect an individual throughout the year, it is most likely to affect people during monsoon, with fluctuating climates creating an ideal environment for a host of viruses to dwell. Affected patients generally get fever and cold that may last for around 3 or 7 days and a simple dose of paracetamol can help control the fever. If the patient experiences high fever, it’s wise to consult a Doctor and start an antibiotic course. Sore throat, sneezing and running nose are an early symptom of a typical flu attack. While you cannot do a lot to avoid it, it’s wise to keep your body well hydrated to try and avoid cold and flu. Avoid unhygienic cold drinks and raw roadside food as much as possible.
Diarrhoea and stomach infections are the most common to affect you during monsoons. Unhygienically handled food and liquid products like Buttermilk, Juices and even Lemon Water cause diarrhoea. It’s advisable to eat well cooked, hygienic food and healthy liquids. Hot beverages that are generally heated up and boiled do not cause diarrhoea or stomach related infections and you are free to drink them. Even well-handled hygienic liquids are good for health, as they help you stay hydrated, which in turn reduces the risk of diarrhoea and other similar infections.
Jaundice is another major disease that is caused by consumption of poorly handled unhygienic or contaminated Water. Even contaminated food can cause jaundice. Roadside food that’s poorly handled or even food served at restaurants where overall hygiene isn’t exactly well-maintained can be a cause of jaundice. Yellowing of eyes, yellow urine, weak liver functioning and vomiting are the most common symptoms of jaundice and should you experience them, it’s advisable to consult a Doctor immediately, as this needs to be looked out for as soon as possible. Strictly drink boiled water and avoid water served at restaurants or roadside eateries to protect yourself from this virus. It’s also wise to stick to home-cooked food.
Dengue is one of the most common conditions caused by the tiger mosquito, a mosquito that generally breeds on accumulated water / waterlogged areas. High fever, body pain, rashes over the body, hypersensitivity and low platelet counts are the symptoms of Dengue and it requires immediate medical attention. Use of mosquito repellents is a great idea to prevent this mosquito from entering your place. It’s advisable to use body repellents like Odomos or wear clothes that cover your entire body whenever you go out.
Typhoid is most commonly caused by consuming contaminated water or water handled unhygienically. Even consuming unhygienically handled food can lead to Typhoid. Bad throat, headache and high fever that budges to go away are common symptoms of Typhoid. If you simply have head aches and recurring fever, you could still have Typhoid. Typhoid requires immediate medical attention and even after it’s recovered, the patient needs to take a lot of care with eating food and water, as Typhoid has the ability to relapse and if it does, it can become serious! Again, drinking boiled water and avoiding street food can help reduce this normally water-borne disease.
Viral Fever is one of the most common monsoon diseases in India and affect a lot of people as there’s nothing you can do apart from avoiding street food and poorly handled water. It lasts around five to seven days and is normally very severe during the first three or four days, after which it gradually starts subsiding, mostly after an Azithromycin or Augmentin course by your physician, depending on the severity.
Female anopheles mosquito causes Malaria. This mosquito generally breeds in areas that accommodate water and thus lead to water-logging. This automatically makes Malaria very common during monsoons. Keeping your surroundings clean and using mosquito repellents at your home and workplace are the best ways to keep the Malaria virus at bay. If you were exposed to mosquito bites and around seven to ten days after that experience high fever, chills, weakness or muscle pains, you should immediately have yourself tested and consult your Doctor accordingly.
Many of us were alarmed when the 2017 World Malaria Report showed that the total number of estimated malaria cases rose in 2016 by 5 million over the previous year. The increases in malaria cases were not uniform and have prompted malaria experts to recommend a more customised approach—one that ensures that available tools are used to maximum effect. In the absence of data on investments in research for implementation, however, it has not been possible to assess whether funding levels are consistent with the priority assigned to it by leading funders, or whether the funding allocated is sufficient. Although we don’t know the answer to this question yet, the new report concludes that funding for basic research and product development does fall short of the need.
Thus, as beautiful as the monsoon gets, it’s also home to a lot of diseases and conditions. While cold and flu or viral fever aren’t exactly serious conditions, diseases like Dengue, Typhoid and Malaria can grow and become extremely serious, even fatal, if not treated in time. As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure and it’s always wise to prevent yourself from being exposed to monsoon-borne diseases, by taking basic care. Sticking to home-cooked food and boiled water and using mosquito repellents at your home and work place will help you a great deal. Have a great monsoon ahead!