Monsoon Blues: Tackling Monsoon Diseases Head-On & Staying Healthy
Monsoon Blues: Tackling Monsoon Diseases Head-On & Staying Healthy
The monsoon season arrives, giving us relief from the hot weather and bringing a feeling of happiness and renewal. However, it is also important to be aware of the health risks that come with this season.
During the monsoon season, waterborne diseases pose a significant health risk due to the increased contamination of water sources. The heavy rainfall often leads to waterlogging, which, in turn, facilitates the mixing of sewage and pathogens with the water supply.
But it's not just waterborne diseases that become more common. There are also other illnesses that you need to be cautious about and need to take precautions for.
In this article, we will explore the different types of diseases that arise during monsoons, and provide you with important tips to prevent these diseases and stay healthy.
Types of diseases during monsoons
Diseases during monsoons in India can be classified into 3 major categories, namely:
Water-borne diseases- Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A, Dysentery, Giardiasis.
Air-borne diseases- Common Cold, Influenza/Flu.
Mosquito-borne diseases- Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya.
Let’s understand these diseases in more detail and learn what steps to take to prevent them.
Waterborne diseases are illnesses that are caused by microorganisms or chemicals present in contaminated water sources. When water sources, such as rivers, lakes, or wells, get polluted with human or animal waste, harmful pathogens and contaminants can contaminate the water supply. Consuming or coming into contact with this contaminated water can lead to various diseases.
Types of water-borne diseases
Common waterborne diseases include typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A, dysentery, and giardiasis. These diseases can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and dehydration. Proper sanitation, access to clean drinking water, and hygienic practices are essential for preventing and controlling waterborne diseases.
Typhoid fever is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi. It is typically spread through the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene practices contribute to its transmission. Contaminated water sources, contaminated food, and improper handling of food can lead to outbreaks of the disease.
Symptoms can vary in severity and develop gradually over time. They include a sustained fever, weakness and fatigue, abdominal pain, headaches, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation, the development of "rose spots" (small pink-colored spots on the chest and abdomen), and an enlarged spleen and liver.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, primarily spread through contaminated food or water. Common symptoms include profuse watery diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, muscle cramps, and sunken eyes. Cholera outbreaks often occur in areas with inadequate sanitation and limited access to clean drinking water. Improving sanitation, promoting hygiene practices, and ensuring access to clean water are crucial in preventing and managing cholera.
Prompt medical treatment, including rehydration therapy and antibiotics, is essential to address severe cases and prevent life-threatening complications.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection primarily affecting the liver, transmitted through contaminated food, water, or close contact with an infected person. Symptoms include fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale stools, and flu-like symptoms.
Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV) found in the feces of infected individuals.
Preventive measures such as vaccination, practicing good hygiene, and consuming safe food and water can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.
During the monsoon season, dysentery becomes a concerning health issue due to increased risks of infection and contaminated water sources. It is a gastrointestinal illness characterized by severe diarrhea with blood and mucus in the stool. The combination of heavy rains and stagnant water during monsoons creates an ideal environment for the proliferation of disease-causing bacteria and parasites, leading to a higher incidence of dysentery.
Preventive measures such as practicing good hygiene, drinking safe and purified water, and being cautious with food choices can help mitigate the risk and ensure the well-being of individuals during this season. If you know of someone who is undergoing this, make sure to give them prompt medical attention and rehydration therapy as they are vital for managing dysentery and preventing complications.
During the monsoon season, Giardiasis, caused by the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia, becomes a concerning health issue. It is a waterborne illness that spreads through contaminated water sources, such as stagnant pools, puddles, and untreated drinking water.
The heavy rains and flooding during the monsoon can lead to an increase in the spread of Giardia cysts, making it more prevalent in both rural and urban areas.
Preventing & Managing Water-borne Diseases during monsoon
Safe drinking water practices and proper sanitation are essential for maintaining good health and preventing the spread of the above mentioned water-borne diseases. Here are some more suggestions for ensuring safe drinking water and promoting proper sanitation:
Access to Clean Water
Ensure a reliable source of clean water for drinking and cooking purposes. Consider using bottled water, filtered water, or treat the water using appropriate methods such as boiling or disinfection through chlorine or iodine.
Use clean, covered containers to store drinking water, protecting it from contamination by insects, animals, or other pollutants. Regularly clean and disinfect water storage containers to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms.
Boiling: Boil water vigorously for at least one minute to kill most types of pathogens. Allow it to cool before consuming.
Chlorination: If boiling is not feasible, use chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine to disinfect water. Follow the instructions provided for the correct dosage.
Filtration: Use a reliable water filter or purifier to remove impurities and harmful microorganisms from the water.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and clean water before handling food, eating, or after using the toilet.
- Encourage good hygiene practices among family members, especially children, by teaching them proper handwashing techniques.
Sanitation and Waste Management.
- Use sanitary facilities such as toilets and latrines for proper disposal of human waste.
- Properly manage solid waste by disposing of it in designated bins or containers to prevent contamination of water sources.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water before consumption.
- Cook food thoroughly to kill any potential pathogens.
- Conduct educational programs and campaigns to raise awareness about safe drinking water practices and proper sanitation.
Regularly inspect and maintain water supply systems, such as pipes, filters, and storage tanks, to ensure they are functioning properly and free from contamination.
Remember that safe drinking water and proper sanitation practices are crucial for preventing water-borne diseases and promoting overall health. Implementing these practices at both individual and community levels can significantly improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of water-related illnesses.
Airborne diseases are illnesses caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites that can spread through the air. These pathogens are present in respiratory droplets, aerosols, or dust particles and can be transmitted when people inhale contaminated air or come into contact with surfaces or objects carrying the infectious particles.
Types of Air-borne diseases
Some of the common air-borne diseases during the monsoon season are common cold and influenza, also known as the flu.
The common cold is a mild viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. It is caused by various viruses, including rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, and respiratory syncytial viruses. Common cold symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, and mild fatigue.
During the monsoon, the common cold is more prevalent due to the increased humidity and changes in temperature. Crowded indoor spaces, poor ventilation, and close contact with infected individuals contribute to the spread of the viruses causing the common cold.
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu can lead to severe symptoms, especially in vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, young children, and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of the flu include high fever, body aches, headache, fatigue, sore throat, cough, and nasal congestion.
While both the flu and the common cold are respiratory illnesses caused by viruses and can have overlapping symptoms, the flu tends to be more severe.
Practice good hand hygiene:
-Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
-Use tissues or the crook of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissues properly.
Avoid close contact
-Minimize close contact with individuals who have cold or flu symptoms to reduce the risk of transmission.
-Follow good respiratory etiquette by covering your nose and mouth with a mask or handkerchief when in crowded places or in close proximity to others.
-Consider getting vaccinated against influenza to reduce the risk and severity of flu infection.
-Ensure proper ventilation in indoor spaces to minimize the concentration of respiratory droplets and reduce the risk of viral transmission.
-Boost your immune system
-Eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, get adequate sleep, and engage in regular exercise to strengthen your immune system.
-Consider getting vaccinated against influenza to reduce the risk and severity of flu infection.
If you experience symptoms of the common cold or influenza, it is advisable to rest, stay hydrated, and seek medical advice if necessary. Following these preventive measures can help reduce the spread of these respiratory infections during the monsoons and promote overall well-being.
Mosquito-borne diseases are a significant public health concern worldwide. These illnesses are transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes, which act as vectors for various pathogens. Some common mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya. These diseases can have severe consequences, ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to life-threatening conditions.
Types of Mosquito-borne diseases
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites of the Plasmodium genus. It is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Malaria is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions. The symptoms typically appear 10-15 days after the mosquito bite and may include intermittent fever with chills and sweats, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting and diarrhea.
If left untreated, malaria can lead to severe complications and even death. Prompt diagnosis and treatment with anti-malarial medications are crucial along with preventive measures such as including the use of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, and taking anti-malarial medications when traveling to high-risk areas is helpful from getting sick due to malaria.
Dengue fever is a viral infection caused by the dengue virus, which is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti. It is commonly found in urban and semi-urban areas of tropical and subtropical regions. The symptoms of dengue fever can range from mild to severe and may include high fever, severe headache, especially behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, rash.
In severe cases, dengue fever can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS), which can be life-threatening. There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, and management focuses on supportive care.
Chikungunya is a viral disease that primarily spreads through the bites of infected mosquitoes, particularly the Aedes species. The name "chikungunya" originates from an African word, meaning "to become contorted" or "to walk bent over," describing the characteristic joint pain and stiffness it causes.
The symptoms include sudden onset fever, severe joint pain, headache, muscle pain, rash, and fatigue. While the illness is rarely fatal, it can be debilitating and affect daily life for weeks or even months. There is no specific treatment for chikungunya, so supportive care to manage symptoms is crucial.
Preventing & Managing Mosquito-borne diseases During monsoon
Use insect repellents
-Apply mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin.
Cover exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes, especially during peak mosquito activity times.
Avoid peak mosquito activity
-Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk, so try to stay indoors during these times, or take precautions to protect yourself if you need to be outside.
-Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so eliminate any standing water around your home, such as in flower pots, birdbaths, buckets, or other containers.
Use mosquito nets
-Sleep under mosquito nets, especially in areas with a high risk of malaria or other mosquito-borne diseases.
-If possible, stay in places with screened windows and doors or use air conditioning to keep mosquitoes outside.
-If you're traveling to an area known for mosquito-borne diseases, check if any vaccinations or preventive medications are recommended and follow the advice of healthcare professionals.
If you suspect you have been infected or are in an area with a high risk of transmission, seek medical advice from healthcare professionals or refer to official health sources for accurate and up-to-date information.
Strengthening your Immunity during the Monsoon Season
A strong immune system is crucial for disease prevention. Following are some ways through which you can keep your immunity strong:
Consume a well-rounded diet that is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins (e.g. Vitamin C, Vitamin D), minerals (e.g. Zinc, Selenium), and antioxidants that are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and nuts.
Foods that can help build a strong immune system include citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, garlic, ginger, turmeric, yogurt, almonds, sunflower seeds, and green tea.
Additionally, incorporating probiotics from fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut can enhance gut health, which is closely tied to immunity.
Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining good health as it helps regulate body temperature, aids digestion, supports nutrient transport, and ensures proper organ function.
Alongside proper nutrition, regular exercise plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system by promoting good circulation, managing stress, and reducing inflammation.
Prioritizing sufficient sleep of 7-9 hours per night allows the body to replenish and repair, further strengthening its defenses.
Practicing stress-reduction techniques, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and maintaining good hygiene habits, such as regular handwashing, all contribute to fortifying the immune system.
While no single change can guarantee immunity, the synergy of these habits fosters a resilient immune system, safeguarding overall health and well-being.
Assurance by NanoHealth: Your trusted healthcare partner!
NanoHealth Assurance is here to accompany you on your journey and provide the assurance you need. Our team of health experts are ready to assist you in navigating the monsoon season by offering personalized care guidelines that cater to your specific health requirements.
By engaging with our team of health experts, you will receive tailored guidance that not only shields you from monsoon-related infections but also enhances your overall well-being. For optimal advice during the monsoon period, it is advisable to consult with our doctors.https://www.nhassurance.com/consult-a-doctor
To connect with our dedicated team of health experts, visit our website at https://www.nhassurance.com or reach out to us at +91 91004 44004.