India experiences its annual Monsoon season between July to September. The onset of the rains brings a host of infections and diseases that can pose a severe range of health threats for your family. Early diagnosis and a few necessary preventive and hygiene measures can keep you stay safe during this deadly season of conditions in India. The most frequent infections during monsoons are transmitted through four primary mediums: mosquitoes, water, air, and contaminated food.
- Mosquito-Borne Infections: Monsoons are the breeding season for mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. India bears a considerable burden of mosquito-borne diseases, contributing 34% of global dengue and 11% of global malaria problems.
- Malaria: It is caused by a single-celled parasite called Plasmodium, is one of the significant health concerns in India during monsoons. It is the breeding season for mosquitoes which is a host to the malaria-causing parasite.
One can also follow these prudent steps as monsoons begin:
- Use mosquito nets in your house
- Don’t allow water to collect or stagnate anywhere around and in the house
- Wash your bathrooms regularly and maintain hygiene
- Use mosquito creams or repellants before stepping out of the house
Water-Borne Diseases: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 3.4 million people are affected by water-borne diseases in India. Children are the most comfortable victims because of a developing immune system that is prone to contracting infections. The most common water-borne conditions are:
- Typhoid: It is caused by S. Typhi bacteria that spreads (a water-borne disease) because of poor sanitation. Eating spoilt food or uncovered and drinking contaminated water are the 2 significant causes of typhoid. Symptoms include headache, fever, joint pain, and sore throat.
- Cholera: It is also caused due to consumption of contaminated food and poor sanitation, is accompanied by diarrhoea or loose motions. Rapid cholera dipstick tests enable doctors to confirm a cholera diagnosis quickly.
- Hepatitis A: It is a viral infection that spreads from contaminated water and food. It can damage and inflame your liver and exhibit signs like fever, fatigue, yellow eyes, tenderness in the stomach, sudden loss in appetite and dark-coloured urine. Regular full-body health check-ups and blood tests can usually help in early diagnosis of any disease at its initial stage.
- Influenza: It is commonly known as the seasonal "flu", spreads quickly from person to person and is essentially transmitted through the air. Diagnostic methods for the identification of the disease include detection of viral antigen by immunospecific assays, such as immunofluorescence microscopy and detection of viral nucleic acid by use of amplification techniques (i.e., nucleic acid testing [NAT]). Antibody detection is usually accomplished by virus NT (virus neutralization) and hemagglutination inhibition (HI) tests.
A few precautionary measures will ensure a flu-free and happy monsoon:
- Cover your nostrils and face while sneezing or coughing.
- Carry your boiled drinking water and drink warm water every few hours
- Ensure your families are well- ventilated at all times
- Extreme dampness content in the air during monsoons may develop bacterial and fungal activity, resulting in a range of hair and skin issues. Rashes, pimples, hair fall, allergies, and dandruff are among the common problems you may face during this season.
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