Monsoon is an important weather phenomena associated with south Asian countries. It is due to the seasonal reversal of winds which bring rainfall in this region. People of the region waits for the season to get rid of the hot weather.
In fact, rain is one of the greatest blessings in the scorching heat of summer. Rainwater is considered the purest form of water as it does not contain any sort of contaminants or chemicals. People use rainwater even for drinking purposes in places where water is scarce. It has numerous benefits related to one’s mental, physical, social health and economics of a state.
On the other side, it comes with similar disadvantages – you can get Influenza, Diarrhoea, Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Malaria, Dengue and many other diseases due to acid rains and puddles caused by excessive standing rainwater.
1. Stomach Infections
Stomach infections happen when you consume unhygienic food and liquid products. Gastroenteritis is one common stomach infection that occurs in this season. Drinking enough boiled water and home-cooked food is advised in this situation. Some symptoms include:
It is a bacterial infection also called salmonellosis after the causative Salmonella bacteria is the result of ingestion of contaminated food or drink, following a fecal-oral route of spread, when somebody, somewhere in your food processing chain, did not wash hands properly after passing stool and yet audaciously handled the food you later consumed. Clinically diagnosed by fever, a relatively low heart rate, liver, and spleen enlargement and on tests with a low white cell count, positive serology and the gold standard of a blood or stool culture, typhoid can also present with severe abdomen pain, headache, and vomiting.
3. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E
Hepatitis is often referred to as jaundice. It is a contagious liver infection again following food/drink fecal-oral contamination and the causative virus (virus – not bacteria) is hepatitis A virus. Fever, jaundice (yellowing of the white of the eyes, skin and dark urine color), abdominal pain, anorexia, malaise, and easy fatigue are hallmarks. Again strict attention to hygiene detail such as washing hands, using barriers while handling food (gloves) and ensuring immunity optimization are protective measures. A vaccine is available.
4. Viral fever
This is a common disease throughout the year but is more prominent during monsoon season. Some symptoms include fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, body chills, muscle, body and joint pain.
It is primarily an occupational hazard for those in direct/indirect contact with the urine of animals but can be viewed as a waterborne monsoon related disease when water contaminated with infected urine of rats (rodents) or other animals contacts with human skin. It is endemic in a tropical city such as Mumbai with maximum cases in young male adults during the rainy season.
Chikungunya is caused by mosquitoes born in stagnated water. These mosquitoes are found in overhead tanks, coolers, plants, utensils and water pipes. This disease is caused by tiger Aedes Albopictus. Some symptoms include acute joint pain, high fever, fatigue, chills.
One of the most common monsoon-related diseases, malaria, is caused by mosquito bites and as mosquitoes breed in water, prevalence increases in monsoons. Transmitted by the sting of a female Anopheles mosquito it comes in four forms P. vivax, P. ovale and P. malariae and the most dangerous P. falciparum which can lead to cerebral malaria.
This fever is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquito bite, also called break-bone fever. Since mosquito numbers rise in monsoons – so does Dengue. Fever with severe joint and muscle pain (hence bone-breaking fever), headache, exhaustion, and rash are presenting signs but the main dread of the scrooge is from its two known, rare, but deadly complications – DHF [Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever] and DSS [Dengue Shock Syndrome] which if they occur are usually life-threatening conditions. There is no specific treatment.
Caution-Measures to Take :
- Take good care of your body
- Try to remove the pools of stagnant water
- Replace water in vases once in a week
- Wipe out the standing water
- Remove water from the possible breeding places of flies or mosquitoes
- Dry off yourself properly after getting wet in the rain
- Do not allow children to play in standing water
- Take care of your hygiene
- Avoid washing your clothes with contaminated water
- Use sanitizer frequently
- Cover water barrels or drums in which you store water.