How to stay safe from Infectious Diseases this Monsoon read
Aug 25 2020145 Views
While rain after a hot and humid day can be a desirable thing; the fact cannot be denied that rain could bring in some rainy season diseases. During monsoons our immune system is weakened, this results in many water-borne diseases. However, if we are aware of why our body is vulnerable during rainy season and how we can be safe and protected, it could ensure we stay safe and are able to enjoy this beautiful season and all the joy it can bring. Staying healthy during these months can be as simple as taking the right precautionary measures at the right time. Read more to know how you can stay safe and healthy this monsoon.
Infectious diseases, which is most common during monsoon, are disorders caused by organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Many organisms live in and on our bodies. They're normally harmless or even helpful. But under certain conditions, some organisms may cause disease.
Some infectious diseases can be passed from person to person. Some are transmitted by insects or other animals or by consuming contaminated food or water or being exposed to organisms in the environment.
Signs and symptoms vary depending on the organism causing the infection, but most commonly include fever and fatigue. Mild infections may respond to rest and home remedies, while some life-threatening infections may need hospitalization, antibiotics, and Intravenous administration of medicines or antifungal.
Infectious diseases, such as measles and chickenpox, can be prevented by vaccines. Frequent and thorough hand-washing also helps protect us from most infectious diseases.
Why Do Diseases Spread Faster in the Monsoon?
Your risk of being exposed to multiple viruses, bacteria, and other infections is two times higher during the monsoon than in any other season. The high moisture content in the air enables harmful microorganisms to thrive, resulting in the transmission of a number of diseases.
Many of these monsoon diseases remain undiagnosed until they affect a major health aspect negatively. Early diagnosis and a few basic preventive and hygiene measures can keep you stay safe during this deadly season of diseases in India.
Infectious diseases can be caused by:
- Bacteria. These organisms are responsible for illnesses such as streptococcal throat, urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, Typhoid, Cholera
- Viruses. These are smaller than bacteria, viruses cause a multiple of diseases ranging from the common cold to AIDS. The present COVID 19 pandemic is a viral infection
- Fungi. Many skin diseases, such as ringworm and athlete's foot, are caused by fungi. Other types of fungi can infect your lungs, nervous system and genitourinary system.
- Parasites. Malaria is caused by a tiny parasite that is transmitted by a mosquito bite. Other parasites may be transmitted to humans from animal feces.
Each infectious disease has its own specific signs and symptoms. General signs and symptoms common to a number of infectious diseases include:
- Muscle aches
When to see a doctor
Seek medical attention if you:
- Have been bitten by an animal
- Are having trouble breathing
- Have been coughing for more than a week
- Have severe headache with fever
- Experience a rash or swelling
- Have unexplained or prolonged fever
- Have sudden vision problems
- Persisting vomiting and diarrhea.
Modes of spread.
1. Direct contact
a. One person to another. This can happen when an individual with the bacteria or virus touches, kisses, or coughs or sneezes on someone who isn't infected via droplet infection (expelled respiratory secretions) ex-Flu, COVID-19. Germs can also spread through the exchange of body fluids from sexual contact ex- AIDS, Hepatitis B
b. Animal to person. Being bitten or scratched by an infected animal, e.g. Rabies. Handling animal waste can be hazardous, too. For example, you can get a toxoplasmosis infection while in contact with cat's feces.
c. Mother to unborn child. A pregnant woman may pass germs that cause infectious diseases to her unborn baby. Some germs pass through the placenta or through breast milk. Germs in the vagina can also be transmitted to the baby during birth., e.g. hepatitis B, Tetanus.
2. Indirect contact
Many germs can contaminate an inanimate object, such as a tabletop, doorknob or handles, switches, pen, mobile, laptops
You can pick up the germs on these contaminated objects. If you then touch your eyes, mouth or nose before washing your hands, you may become infected. E.g. - COVID, FLU
3. Insect bites form vectors like mosquitos, fleas, lice transmit germs causing malaria, Lyme’s disease, West Nile fever etc.
4. Food and water contamination transmit germs causing gastroenteritis, like Cholera, Typhoid.
Follow the below steps can decrease the risk of infection:
- Wash your hands. This is especially important before and after preparing food, before eating, and after using the toilet. And try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands, as that's a common way germs enter the body. Wash Hands with Soap and water for at least 20 secs or rub your hand with 70 % alcohol based sanitizer.
- Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing of more than 3 feet can prevent droplet infections in case of COVID -19.
- Get vaccinated. Vaccination can drastically reduce your chances of contracting many diseases.
- Stay home when ill. Don't go to work if you are vomiting diarrhea or a fever. Don't send your child to school if he or she has these symptoms.
- Cook food safely. . Cook foods appropriately, as cooking would destroy the germs, separate cooked and uncooked food safely.
- Don't share personal items. Use your own toothbrush, comb and razor. Avoid sharing drinking glasses or dining utensils.
- Travel advice. If you're traveling out of the country, talk to your doctor about any special vaccinations — such as yellow fever, cholera, hepatitis A or B, or typhoid fever — you may need. Presently at this time pandemic it is good to avoid unessential travels.
As much as we all love the monsoons and the respite it brings, it’s best to stay informed and protect ourselves from these common monsoon diseases in India. Avoid self-diagnosis and over-the-counter medication if you observe any of the above-mentioned symptoms, and consult your general physician immediately.
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