Monsoon season: How to boost your immunity to deal with diseases that spread during rains
We spoke to Dr Haroon. H, Consultant - Internal Medicine, KMC Hospital, BR Ambedkar Circle, Mangalore, who gave us some tips and advice to fight from Monsoon diseases
India generally experiences monsoon season from mid - June to October, with some variations based on the geographical location. Although a joyous occasion, we must remember the army of ailments associated with the monsoon season.
Having already gone through multiple waves of COVID – 19, there is tremendous anxiety among the people to protect themselves from diseases prevalent during the monsoon. The risk of getting exposed to disease-causing bacteria, viruses, parasites, or other pathogens is significantly higher in the rainy season compared to other seasons.
The common diseases seen during the rainy season are,
(1) vector-borne diseases (especially mosquito) eg: Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, etc.
(2) Diseases spread by inhalation of contaminated air. Eg. Influenza cold & cough, pneumonia & other respiratory infections.
(3) Diseases spread by consumption of contaminated water eg. Cholera Viral hepatitis (A & E), Diarrhea, Typhoid, Leptospirosis, etc.
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Taking necessary precautions to prevent these diseases and enjoy a healthy monsoon is important.
- Don't allow water to stagnate (stagnant water is a breeding place for mosquitoes). Use mosquito nets, wear full-sleeved clothes & use mosquito nets to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Have a nutritious diet. For people with chronic diseases like diabetes, kidney diseases & other pre-existing diseases should customise their diet in consultation with their healthcare provider.
- People with respiratory symptoms should cover their nose & mouth while coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of infection to others.
- Wearing a mask whenever you step out of the house gives added protection.
- Elderly individuals, children & neonates, and people with underlying diseases and low immunity should keep away from the infected individual.
- Hand washing with recommended technique using a sanitiser will help in preventing the spread of respiratory and water-borne infections
- Make sure to wash the vegetables well before consuming them.
- Vulnerable individuals & children must consult their doctor regarding vaccination to protect themselves from certain infections
- Make sure to maintain appropriate personal and environmental hygiene.
- Individuals whose lifestyle involves travelling should check the weather report & plan they're itinerary according to the weather forecast. Carry essential commodities like regular medications and warm clothes when one is travelling to an area where diseases like malaria are endemic. While travelling to endemic-ridded areas, it is essential to discuss with their doctor regarding taking appropriate prophylaxis.
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- Try to stay in well–ventilated spaces always.
- If you have any disease symptoms, do not self-diagnose and self-medicate. Make it a habit to consult the doctor early and take medications as suggested by them
- It is always beneficial if the youth and students are trained to volunteer in a natural disaster. Training in first – aid and disaster management is given in many hospitals. This knowledge will go a long way in providing the much-needed support to the government authorities in floods, landslides, etc.