Monsoon gives us a fresh breath of relief from the soaring heat of summers. It nurtures a lot of greenery and cools down the environment. During this time, who doesn’t like to grab a hot cup of tea with snacks from the nearest tea shop or restaurant? Monsoon is not only about enjoyment and fun, but also about being equipped with medical information and precautions.
Here is pertinent information on the various monsoon diseases which you need to know:
Malaria: It tops the list of common diseases during monsoon. It is spread by the bite of female Anopheles mosquito which breeds in waterlogged areas. Typical symptoms are fever, chills, body pain and weakness.
Diarrhoea: This commonly occurs during monsoon. It arises due to the ingestion of contaminated water or food. Common symptoms are frequent bowel movements, stomachache and abdominal cramps. It can be prevented by maintaining proper hygiene like drinking boiled water, washing hands with soap before eating and washing vegetables before cooking.
Dengue: It is the most notorious disease of monsoon. It is caused by Aedes mosquito. Common symptoms are high fever, rashes, severe body pain and weakness.
Typhoid: Typhoid is a food and water-borne disease which is common during rains. It is caused by S. Typhi bacteria, characterised by high fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and weakness.
Hepatitis A: It is an acute infection of the liver caused by Hepatitis A Virus. It spreads through contaminated food, water or close contact with an infected person. Common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, jaundice, dark yellow urine and loss of appetite.
Viral fever: Viral fever can occur all-around the year, but it is most common during monsoon. It commonly infects children and manifests as mild to high degree fever for 3-5 days, along with cold and cough.
Fungal Infections: Fungal infections become common during monsoons because moisture in the climate favours the growth of fungus in the skin folds like armpits, toes and inner thighs. Common symptoms are peeling, cracking, redness, blisters, itching or burning of the skin.
Cholera: It is a rare and severe disease which spreads through food and water contaminated by human faeces. It is reported in areas of poor sanitation. It presents itself as diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration and extreme weakness.
You can take certain steps to avoid these diseases like avoid eating from roadsides where you can’t be sure of the kind of water and food used, follow proper hygiene practices, use clean water, and guard yourself against mosquitoes.
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- Haines A, Patz J A. Health effects of climate change. JAMA. 2004;291 (1): 99-103. Available at http://www.calcleancars.org/archives/JAMA010704.pdf