10 Common Monsoon Diseases and Tips for Prevention
Though the monsoon provides relief from the heat, it is critical to keep ourselves aware of and protect ourselves from frequent monsoon infections.
The long-awaited monsoon season has arrived, bringing relief from the oppressive summer heat. While rain is often pleasant on a hot and humid day, it also brings with it a plethora of viruses and diseases that pose serious health hazards to you and your family.
The humid environment, heavy rains, and windy environs spread many infectious diseases. During the monsoon season, our immune systems are compromised, which leads to an increase in water-borne diseases.
During the monsoon, the risk of getting numerous viruses, bacteria, and other diseases doubles compared to any other season. Increased air moisture, humidity, and dampness encourage the growth of microbes including mold, fungi, and bacteria, as well as dangerous germs, leading to the spread of a range of diseases.
Many monsoon diseases go undiagnosed until they have a significant negative influence on one’s health. Early detection and a few basic preventive and hygiene practices will keep you safe during India’s deadly disease season.
Let’s take a look at some of the most frequent monsoon diseases, as well as some prevention and management tips:
Malaria is spread by mosquitoes called Anopheles (which are the definitive hosts of Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malaria). The malaria-causing parasite Anopheles minimus breeds during the monsoon season. This disease occurs mostly because of waterlogging as the mosquito breeds in waterways and streams, causing a severe fever (up to 105 degrees Celsius) that can linger for several days. Malaria symptoms include a high fever, body discomfort, body chills, and excessive sweating.
Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in stagnant water (such as in buckets, drums, flower pots, wells, and tree holes). Dengue fever takes four to seven days to develop after being bitten. Dengue fever is characterized by high fever, rashes, headache, low platelet count, and hypersensitivity.
Chikungunya is a non-fatal viral disease spread by mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) hatched in stagnant water. These mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and can bite you not just at night but also during the day. They can be found in overhead tanks, plants, utensils, and water pipes. Chikungunya symptoms include headache, muscle pain, acute joint pain, high fever, fatigue, and chills.
Typhoid is a water-borne disease caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria that is spread due to inadequate sanitation. Typhoid is spread by eating spoiled or exposed food and drinking polluted water. Typhoid fever is a very contagious monsoon sickness. Contaminated food and water are the most common causes of this disease. Typhoid symptoms include a high temperature for a long time, weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, fever, headache, joint pain, sore throat, and vomiting.
Cholera is caused by a lack of sanitation and hygiene, as well as the intake of contaminated food and water, and is accompanied by diarrhea and loss of motion. Cholera can be life-threatening if not treated on time. Low blood pressure, muscle cramps, a rapid heart rate, and a dry mucous membrane are some of the signs of cholera.
Jaundice is a water-borne disease that is spread by contaminated food and water, as well as inadequate sanitation, and results in liver failure. When the body does not metabolize bilirubin properly, it causes yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes. Jaundice is usually caused by an underlying condition that causes the liver to produce too much bilirubin or prevents it from being eliminated. Jaundice causes weakness and weariness, as well as yellow urine, yellowing of the eyes, and vomiting.
Hepatitis A & E
Hepatitis A & E are highly contagious liver infections caused by the hepatitis A & E viruses, which is one of the numerous types of hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation and impair the function of your liver. The viruses are usually obtained through contaminated food or water, or through intimate contact with an infected person or object. Fatigue, sudden nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, loss of appetite, joint pain, and yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes are some of the indications and symptoms of hepatitis A & E.
Cold and flu
The most frequent viral infections, the cold and flu, are triggered by the monsoon’s abrupt temperature changes. Colds and influenza (flu) are illnesses of the upper respiratory system, which includes the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs. People with a weakened immune system are more susceptible to infections that cause runny noses, sore throats, watery eyes, fevers, and chills.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is transmitted from animals to humans. Many animals (particularly dogs, rats, and farm animals) carry the organism, which ends up in soil and water through their urine. When going through waterlogged terrain, the disease is mainly spread through open wounds. Headache, muscle discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rash are some of the symptoms of leptospirosis.
Stomach flu, also known in medical terms as viral gastroenteritis, is a contagious illness that affects the stomach and intestines. During the monsoon season, stomach diseases caused by the intake of unsanitary food and beverage products are common. Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, headache, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite are all signs and symptoms of viral gastroenteritis.
Staying healthy during the monsoon, on the other hand, can be as simple as adopting the right measures at the right time. It’s critical to understand why our bodies are vulnerable during the rainy season, as well as how to stay safe and protected.
Here are a few tips to follow to stay away from various monsoon diseases:
- Remove any standing water from around your home and ensure adequate ventilation at all times.
- Maintain a mosquito-free environment by using mosquito nets in your home and using insect repellents/creams before leaving the house.
- Always boil water and thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Always keep your food covered and avoid consuming outside food.
- Vaccinate your children and make sure they wash their hands and feet properly after being outside.
- Maintain a healthy diet and a robust immune system.
- Eat freshly washed, boiled vegetables, limit your intake of fats, oils, and sodium, and avoid dairy products because they may contain hazardous germs.
Though the monsoon provides relief from the heat, it is critical to keep ourselves aware of and protect ourselves from frequent monsoon infections. If you or a member of your family exhibits any of the above signs of monsoon diseases, seek medical help right away and avoid self-diagnosis or over-the-counter medications.
About Author –
Dr. M.V. Rao, Consultant Physician, Yashoda Hospitals
MD (General Medicine)