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If monsoon comes, can diseases be far behind?

Once the monsoon is over, India returns to its characteristic back breaking heat. We may be becoming more used to it, but our bodies still react violently to the change no matter how many years we’ve been alive. This results in a range of health concerns that we should all be aware of. Here are the top five post monsoon illnesses in India:

1.     Malaria

Malaria is spread by the female Anopheles mosquitoes, which transmits the pathogen from an infected person to a healthy one. One might suffer from fever, headaches, nausea, muscle pain and weakness in malaria.

Preventative measures:

Firstly, for Malaria, there are some prophylactic drugs available to develop partial immunity. For treating malarial infections, Quinine was used at the earlier stage but nowadays this drug has been replaced by Quinacrine, Chloroquinine etc. Also, you can take an antimalarial drug such as Mefloquine, Atovaquone/Proguanil, or Doxycycline.

Secondly, you can take measures to prevent against mosquito bites.
Make sure that you limit outside activity between dusk and dawn, that there are no unscreened entry points into your house and keep all windows and doors closed during twilight and at night.  It is important to stock up on some basic anti-mosquito medication (ointments like Odomos and sprays like Bug Off), stay dry (as infected mosquitoes are especially attracted to damp skin- caused dude to perfumes, deodorants  or sweat) and use a mosquito net

2.     Dengue

Dengue Fever is a viral infection that’s carried by mosquitoes and causes fever, body aches, joint pain, and rash. It’s spread by what’s known as the tiger mosquito (Aedes Aegypti), which has black and yellow stripes and typically bites in the early morning or at dawn.

Preventative measures: Unfortunately, there aren’t any drugs available to prevent the virus.

Consuming adequate water will improve one’s immunity against dengue fever. In addition to the steps mentioned to avoid mosquito bites in the prevention of Malaria, the Aedes mosquito’s population can be greatly reduced if the breeding places of the mosquitoes – mostly waste water and garbage rich areas- can be reduced. The cleaning and recycling of garbage is highly recommended in dengue prone areas. Large water containers are to be treated before supplying it to the public for daily usage.

3.     Viral Fever

Viral fever is quite common in India during changes in weather. It’s characterized by fatigue, weakness, chills, body aches, and fever. The illness is usually transmitted through the air by droplets of sneezes from infected people, or by touching infected secretions. It lasts from three to seven days, with the fever at its most severe in the first three days. Respiratory symptoms tend to develop later on, and can include cough and in severe cases, Pneumonia.

Preventative measures: Prevention measures include avoiding swimming pools, outside food and water, intimate contact with an infected person, smoking and drinking. Avoid contaminated surfaces of telephones, computers, books and pens.

4.     Heat Related Illness

Dehydration and heat exhaustion are big issues during the hot weather in India, particularly for children. Symptoms include absence of urination, lethargy, fatigue, and headaches. Skin rashes, caused by excessive perspiration, are also a concern.

Preventative measures: Drink lots of water (and the popular Indian lemon water — Nimbu Pani) and take Oral Rehydration Salts. Alternatively, add half a teaspoon of salt and 3 teaspoons of sugar into 1 liter of water. Avoid drinking cold soft drinks containing preservatives. Also be aware that air conditioners can encourage dehydration by drying out your system. This can be overcome by splashing your face with water before and after you sleep. Bathe at least twice a day to remove perspiration from the skin and keep the body cool. Apply talcum powder to rash areas.

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5.     Allergies and Hay Fever

Many trees start pollinating during the September to October period in India, triggering seasonal allergies among people. Common symptoms include inflammation in the lining of the nose and eyes. Allergic bronchitis, which affects the lung area and may induce breathing problems, can also be a problem.

Preventative measures: Allergy symptoms can be treated to a certain extent by taking anti-allergy and antihistamine drugs. Those who suffer from asthma should always carry their inhaler.

The monsoons are a great time to enjoy the weather and have a great time with friends and family. Don’t let these diseases pull you down!

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cloudchowk is a healthcare software company based out of Delhi. Its software help medical labs, clinics and patients share information and collaborate seamlessly.

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