The arrival of monsoon in India typically occurs from July to September. Monsoon may feel refreshing, but the onset of the rains brings with them a host of infections and diseases that can cause a serious range of health threats to humankind regardless of age.
The good news, however, is that staying healthy during these months of seasonal flu and cold can be as simple as taking a right precautionary measures. Therefore, this is probably the best time to put ‘prevention is better than cure’ into action.Some diseases are preventable and can be dealt with at home with healthcare’s guidance, while some may need proper medical attention; otherwise, they can turn fatal.
Read more about the diseases and preventions that needs to be given extra attention during the muddy, rainy season.
The danger of being exposed to multiple viruses, bacteria, and other infectious agents is usually more during monsoon than in any other season. The high moisture content in the air allows harmful microorganisms to multiply, resulting in the transmission of a variety of diseases.
Many of these seasonal diseases remain undiagnosed until they negatively affect a major health aspect. Early diagnosis, few basic preventive and hygiene measures can keep people stay safe during this deadly season of diseases in India.
The most common infections during monsoons are transmitted through four major mediums:
Let’s get into them briefly:
Monsoon is a comfortable season for the breeding of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquito-borne diseases are among the most common diseases in India, contributing to 34% of global dengue and 11% of global malaria cases (according to WHO India).
A single-celled parasite, namely Plasmodium, causes malaria. It is one of the significant health concerns in India during the monsoons. The rainy season is the perfect breeding season for mosquitoes (type: Anopheles minimus) that is a host to this malarial parasite. These mosquito breeds in water channels and streams.
Dengue caused by Aedes aegypti mosquito breeds in stagnant water (such as in buckets, drums, flower pots, wells, and tree holes). With the change in environments and urbanization, these organisms have adapted themselves and are now found in urban areas as well. The incubation period of dengue fever is five to seven days after being bitten.
Chikungunya, another mosquito-borne disease, caused by the mosquito known as Aedes albopictus, is a non-fatal viral disease. These mosquitoes reproduce in stagnant water and can bite people at night as well as during the day. Its symptoms include pain in the joints and bones, stiffness.
Malaria, Dengue, and Chikungunya come with high body temperature, chills, body aches, and fatigue. If individual notices any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. People can also follow these precautionary measures as monsoons begin:
World Health Organisation (WHO) claims that more than 3.4 million people are affected by water-borne diseases in India. Children are more prone to these diseases because their immunity is not fully developed. The most common water-borne diseases are:
Typhoid, caused by Salmonella Typhi bacteria, is a common water-borne disease that usually spreads because of poor sanitation. Eating uncovered or rotten food and drinking contaminated water are the two significant causes of typhoid. Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, joint pain, and sore throat.
Cholera is another water-borne disease caused due to poor sanitation and consumption of contaminated food, is accompanied by diarrhea or loose motions.
Leptospirosis (Weil’s Syndrome) is caused due to contact with dirty water or mud during the monsoons. Its symptoms include body shivering, muscle pain, headache, and fever. In case an individual has suffered a cut or bruise, they must ensure to keep it covered before stepping out of the home.
Jaundice is a well-known water-borne disease contracted through contaminated food and water, and poor sanitation. It causes abnormality in the liver, along with symptoms like weakness and fatigue, yellow urine, yellowing of eyes and skin, and vomiting.
Gastro-intestinal infections, like vomiting, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis, are caused due to the consumption of contaminated food and water. It is advised by doctors and healthcare providers to boil water before drinking and keep all foods covered before consumption to stomach infections.
Hepatitis A is a well-known viral infection that spreads from contaminated food and water. It causes inflammation and damage to the liver and exhibit symptoms like fatigue, fever, tenderness in the stomach, dark-coloured urine, and a sudden loss in appetite.
Given below are a few preventive and precautionary steps that can be taken to stay safe from water-borne diseases:
Monsoon brings with it multiple air-borne infections transmitted by microscopic pathogens through the air, resulting in the flu, viral fever, cold, cough, and sore throat. They are generally mild and can cause minor infections in anyone. However, due to a weak or developing immunity, children and senior citizens are more prone to infections during this season. The most common air-borne diseases are as follows:
Cold and flu, the most known viral infection, is caused due to the sudden changes in temperatures during the monsoon. A weak immune system makes people more prone to catch these minor infections with symptoms such as the runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, and fever.
Influenza, commonly known as the seasonal flu, transmit easily from an infected person to a healthy person and is substantially transmitted through the air.
Air-borne diseases spread from person-to-person. A few precautionary steps may help with prevention which include:
High moisture content in the air during monsoons can increase viral, fungal, and bacterial activity, resulting in a broad variety of skin and hair issues. Pimples, skin rashes, allergies, hair fall, and dandruff are among the common issues some people may face during this season.
Here are some easy to do tips one can follow to stay safe and enjoy monsoon:
As much as people love the monsoons, it’s best to stay aware and protect yourselves from these common monsoon diseases. If someone observes any of the symptoms mentioned above and consult the doctor or general physician immediately.
Medical Tests and Health Checkups Available At House of Diagnostics (HOD).