Contributed by – Healthians team
Monsoon is just around the corner and with it comes relief from the scorching heat of the sun. But, as refreshing as it may feel, the rains bring a host of monsoon illnesses with them which can pose a serious health threat to you and your family. However, you can prevent monsoon diseases simply by following the right precautionary methods at the right time. Here, in this article, we will discuss some of the most common monsoon diseases and will then see what should you keep in mind to prevent illnesses during monsoon.
Most common monsoon diseases
The most common diseases of monsoon transmit in 4 major ways: mosquitoes, water, air, and food. Here’s all you need to know about them.
Malaria – Malaria, caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, is a major threat to health during monsoon season. This season is the breeding season of the mosquitoes which act as the host to malaria-causing parasite. When an infected mosquito bites you, it releases the parasite into your bloodstream and within 48 to 72 hours, the parasite in the bloodstream starts to multiply, causing infected cells to burst open. Chills, fever, headache, and nausea are a few common symptoms of malaria noticed first.
Dengue – Dengue is another type of mosquito-borne disease for which monsoons act as the breeding ground. The Aedes aegypti mosquito which breeds in stagnant water causes dengue. With the change in landscapes and urbanization, these dengue mosquitoes have adapted to our urban homes. Fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting are a few symptoms of dengue.
Chikungunya – Chikungunya is caused by Aedes albopictus mosquito. Similar to dengue mosquitoes, these mosquitoes too breed in stagnant water and can bite you during the day as well. The most common symptoms of chikungunya are sudden onset of fever and severe joint pains.
How do you protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases in monsoon?
- Use mosquito nets.
- Don’t allow water to stagnate in and around the house.
- Maintain proper hygiene in your house.
- Use mosquito repellents before stepping out.
Typhoid – The Salmonella Typhi bacteria cause typhoid and it spreads because of poor sanitation. Contaminated food and contaminated water are the two main causes of typhoid. Symptoms of typhoid include fever, headache, joint pain, and sore throat.
Cholera – Cholera is caused by the Vibrio cholera bacterium. Eating or drinking contaminated food and water are the causes of cholera. This disease can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration and in some cases, if left untreated, it can be fatal.
Jaundice – Contaminated food, water, and poor sanitation can cause jaundice or yellow fever. It may cause liver dysfunction. Other symptoms of jaundice include weakness, fatigue, yellow urine, and yellowing of eyes. Jaundice can sometimes be also a severe symptom of underlying illness indicating a serious problem with the function of red blood cells, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
Gastrointestinal infections – Gastrointestinal infections are also caused by consuming contaminated food and water. Hence, it is advisable to always drink boiled water and store your food in a properly sanitized environment.
Hepatitis A – It is again a viral infection that spreads due to contaminated food and water. Hepatitis A can cause inflammation in your liver and may damage it over time. Symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, fever, yellow eyes, dark-colored urine, and a sudden loss of appetite.
How do you protect yourself from water-borne diseases in monsoon?
- Always boil the water before drinking.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming.
- Maintain proper personal hygiene at all times.
- Try and cover all potholes and open drains near your house.
- Get necessary vaccines
- Try and drink only bottled water when outside
- Don’t eat at roadside joints
Cold and flu – Cough and cold is the most common viral infection caused by sudden fluctuations in temperature. A person with weak immunity is more prone to it. It is accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, fever, and chills.
Coronavirus – Coronavirus is currently rapidly spreading throughout the world. It is generally not an air-borne disease but in some situations, it acts like one. It can spread through respiratory droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to that of cough and cold. Extensive research is going on to learn more about it and to find ways to deal with it.
How do you protect yourself from air-borne diseases in monsoon?
- Cover your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who appear to be sick.
- Drink warm water every few hours.
- Keep your home well ventilated and sanitized.
- Follow good personal hygiene.
As much as you may love monsoon, it is not the time to ignore your health. Even a common sickness, if ignored, can cause major complications. Stay informed and protect yourself from monsoon diseases. And if you happen to notice any symptoms stated above, do not self diagnose. Visit your doctor for proper examination and correct diagnosis.
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