Monsoon Illnesses – Prevention & Precautions
The monsoon season has already made its presence felt in most parts of the country, with several states receiving moderate to extreme rainfall. While the season brings the sweet nostalgia of chai and piping hot pakoras, it also alarms us with the responsibility of taking the suitable precautions to stay away from any diseases that this weather change might bring in.
Dhani’s Brand Head, Vivek Bhatia, spoke to Dr Roohi Pirzada about the rise in infections, illnesses and the subsequent preventions & precautions that we should practice during the monsoons. Dr Roohi is an ICU specialist and Senior General Practitioner with us at Dhani, who has over a decade of experience in Critical Care & General Medicine.
- What are the infections which are prevalent, especially during monsoons?
Fevers are very common in monsoons, which could be a symptom of Malaria, Dengue, Leptospirosis, Typhoid, or Chikungunya.
- Why do these illnesses/infections rise during the monsoons?
The most common reason is stagnant water, which allows the breeding of mosquitoes like Anopheles and Aedes aegypti which act as vectors (carriers) and transmit the above-mentioned diseases. Puddles of stagnant water are usually found in the balcony due to watering of house plants, water dripping from air conditioners etc. Sometimes water also gets contaminated with rat urine; wading through such water with an open skin or wound increases the incidence of Leptospirosis. Similarly, Typhoid and Jaundice can be transmitted through the faecal-oral route, i.e., ingesting contaminated food and water, which happens in the monsoons due to mixing of rain waters or sewage water with drinking water. In all these diseases, fever is a common symptom. Additionally, in Malaria and Dengue, one might have headaches, body ache, and sometimes develop a rash due to a fall in platelet count. Severe joint pain is a classic symptom of Leptospirosis. Patients with Typhoid may exhibit symptoms like loose motions, abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea, along with severe headache.
- What precautions should one take against these illnesses?
One’s first duty should be to keep them and their loved ones safe from mosquito bites, which is relatively easy to do. One should make use of protective clothing & mosquito repellents. People should also avoid frequenting places that are a potential breeding ground for mosquitos, like stagnant pools of water. Fumigation of society and office premises can help to decrease mosquito breeding. We should pay extreme attention to cleanliness and hygiene and ensure that proper food intake is regularised so that our immunity doesn’t go for a toss. Boiling water well for 10 to 15 minutes and washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean running water can help prevent Typhoid and Jaundice. In addition, one can strengthen their immune system through the intake of fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Eggs, Paneer, Chole, soya, sprouts, and dairy products. Including vitamin C and B complex in our daily routine also helps in preventing respiratory illnesses.
- What if someone catches an infection or a disease, even after following these precautions?
First and foremost, since we are amid a pandemic, it becomes imperative to rule out the possibility of COVID-19, so one should get a test done as soon as they feel any COVID-like symptoms. Furthermore, it becomes increasingly important to establish a cause of the infection, so I would advise seeing a doctor as quickly as possible. The sour truth that we all need to remember is that if ignored, many of these illnesses can be fatal. Hence proper help should be sought at the right time.
This Monsoon, take extra care! If you feel uneasy, do get in touch with a doctor on the Dhani app. On Dhani app, you can get connected to a doctor over a video call in just 10 seconds. 200+ Doctors are available 24×7 to assure your well-being. If you still haven’t, download the Dhani app today and get unlimited free consultations for 30 days