Enjoying the first showers of the season, eating food at roadside stalls, and playing in puddles, is how many of us wish to be associated with the monsoons. But, it is a very busy time for doctors, as the season brings with it a multitude of illnesses; prompt diagnosis and treatment is of utmost importance. It is also important to understand the protective and preventive measure against these diseases, which could safeguard you and your family. Cold, cough, malaria, dengue, a stomach infection, diarrhoea, fever, typhoid and pneumonia are some of the diseases which make it to the top of the list. Here’s how you can tackle these;
FEVER, COLD & COUGH: Viral diseases are common all over the world, but during monsoon, they are even more prevalent. Constant sneezing, sore throat and fever are the common symptoms of this disease.
- Avoid getting drenched in rain, or being in wet clothes for a long time
- Gargles with warm water will help if you have a sore throat
- Medicine to treat fever (like Paracetamol)
- Keep a safe distance from an infected person
MALARIA, DENGUE & CHIKUNGUNYA: Fever at regular intervals, bouts of shivering, muscle pain and weakness are signs of mosquito-borne illnesses.
Since this disease is spread by mosquitoes, mosquito repellents and nets should be used to keep them at bay. Make sure that water does not stagnate in your area, which becomes a breeding point for mosquitos. Let’s understand the ABCD of Malaria prevention.
- Awareness of the risk of malaria
- Bite prevention by wearing long-sleeved clothes and trousers when going outdoors. Insect repellents must be applied on clothes and on the exposed parts of the body, especially when travelling
- Chemoprophylaxis (taking anti-malarial medications)
- Diagnosis and treatment
DIARRHOEA/ STOMACH INFECTION: Monsoon brings with it stomach infections such as Gastroenteritis and food poisoning; it causes severe vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. The reason is characteristically a bacterial infection or viral.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before every meal and after using the washroom
- Do not eat or drink food or liquids that might be contaminated
- Drink plenty of water every day to stay well hydrated, but do ensure that the water is filtered
- Keep ORS in your travel First Aid kit
LEPTOSPIROSIS: Leptospirosis is a fairly uncommon bacterial infection. It is often transmitted by animal urine or water containing animal urine coming into contact with cracks in the skin, around the eyes, mouth, nose or feet.
If you have an occupation where you come into contact with animals sources of contaminated water, such as farming, construction, or working with sewers or drains, wear adequate protective clothing. This could include waterproof gloves, boots, goggles and a mask
- Avoid contact with muddy water, if you have fever or body pain, take anti-Pyretic medications
- Consult a doctor if the symptom doesn’t subside
JAUNDICE & TYPHOID: These are caused by the intake of contaminated water and food; common symptoms are high-grade fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and fatigue.
- Consume clean drinking water and covered food
- Proper hand sanitation is important
- Take antipyretics/ ORS/ antiemetics as per symptoms; if symptoms increase consult a doctor
IN CASE OF TRAUMA, FALLS OR ACCIDENTS, FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE STEPS:
- Wash the wound well to remove any dirt, apply an antiseptic solution and dress the wound
- Keep the wound clean and dry to avoid any other infections
- In cases like severe pain, deep wounds, deformity or extreme bleeding, strive for medical help instantly.
Inputs by Dr. Upasana Sharma, Head, Emergency & Trauma, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan