In India, the monsoon season typically lasts from June to September. As much as we love to enjoy the monsoon rains, the monsoon season brings along a host of diseases and infections that can pose health risks to you and your family.
During the monsoons, the stagnant water and flooding caused due to heavy rains increase the risk of water-borne and vector-borne diseases.
In this article, we'll talk about the types of monsoon diseases and ways to prevent them.
Malaria is one of the most common diseases that occur during the monsoon season. It is caused by the Anopheles mosquito that breeds in the dirty stagnant water collected in plastic containers, barrels or drums and plastic pots , .
Prevention methods: Clear all the stagnant water sources surrounding your house, apply mosquito repellent creams, wear full-sleeve clothing and sleep under a mosquito net.
Dengue is another mosquito-borne disease that is common during the monsoons. Dengue is spread to people through the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquito. In households, open gutters, pot plants, plastic water-holding containers and discarded coconut shells and tyres serve as the breeding grounds of this mosquito .
Prevention methods: Use insect repellents, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and throw away or turn around the objects that hold water and keep the area around your house clean.
During the monsoons, chikungunya cases are also on the rise. Chikungunya is spread by the bite of the Aedes mosquito, mainly Aedes aegypti and A. albopictus mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breed in open water-holding containers such as buckets and flowerpots , .
Prevention methods: Discard water collected in unused buckets, tyres and flower pots. Spray insecticides near your home to kill the mosquitoes and wear full-sleeved clothing to prevent mosquito bites.
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Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholera. Cholera is spread due to the consumption of contaminated food or drinking water. Studies have shown that drinking water contaminated by sewage or polluted water bodies, lack of clean drinking water and healthy hygiene and sanitation practises increase the risk of cholera during the monsoon .
Prevention methods: Drink and use clean water, wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water, cook food with clean drinking water and use latrines instead of defecating in any water bodies.
Typhoid is caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria. It occurs due to several factors such as consumption of contaminated food and water, lack of poor sanitation and personal hygiene, floods, staying near water bodies, poor living conditions .
Prevention methods: Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water, avoid eating foods and beverages sold outside, don't eat raw and undercooked foods, drink boiled water and wash fruits and veggies properly before cooking.
6. Viral hepatitis
Most patients with jaundice develop viral hepatitis infections, which is a major risk factor of jaundice. A study showed that in Alwar, Rajasthan more than 59 per cent of jaundice cases occurred during the summer and monsoon months (June to September) .
Prevention methods: Incorporate a healthy lifestyle and maintain proper hygiene.
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Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the Leptospira spp. This infection spreads when a person comes in contact with water or soil contaminated by urine of infected animals. Leptospirosis also occurs when you drink contaminated water .
Prevention methods: Do not swim in water that might be contaminated with animal urine. People who are exposed to contaminated water or soil due to their jobs should wear protective clothing or footwear.
8. Skin and eye infections
Skin and eye infections such as dermatitis and conjunctivitis occur when a person comes in direct contact with polluted water such as floods.
Prevention methods: Keep your hands clean and don't touch your face with dirty hands and stay away from puddles and water-logged areas.
9. Respiratory tract infections
The risk of respiratory tract infections increases due to exposure to flood water and rain. Respiratory tract infections such as asthma, allergic bronchitis, pneumonia and viral flu are seen in patients with respiratory tract infections .
Q. How can we prevent diseases during rainy season?
A. Drink clean drinking water, it is advisable to drink only boiled water, wash and cook food properly, avoid eating outside food, maintain proper personal hygiene, use toilets properly and keep it clean and wash hands with soap and water frequently.
Q. How can we keep ourselves healthy in rainy season?
A. Eat fruits and vegetables, get good sleep, stay away from sick people and drink plenty of water.
Q. What should I eat in rainy season?
A. Eat seasonal fruits such as litchi, plums, jamuns, apples, cherries, papayas, pears and pomegranates.