Rain has hit southern states of India. By this month end or July entire country will get wet. A relief from hot summer, but all worried about monsoon diseases. The state of road and infrastructure in our country has not changed much, so we are going to see clogged roads, over flowing drains and drenched waste piles. Only option available is to know how these diseases spread and combat it from ones on end. Also during monsoon people with lifestyle disease like diabetes must be extra careful.
Water borne diseases:
Harmful bacteria, virus, chemical pollutants and dissolved impurities present in the contaminated water can wreak havoc in our lives. According to UN reports, In India, over one lakh people die of water-borne diseases annually. With rain water leading to flood and water clogging, access to pure drinking water gets limited. Water-related diseases kills more number of people in monsoon, in both the urban and rural areas.
Cholera: A person get Cholera by drinking impure water or eating food which is contaminated with bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It can affect children and adults and every year thousands of case gets reported across the country. Main symptoms include vomiting, abdominal cramps, watery diarrhoea, and fever.
Typhoid: It is another disease that gets transmitted by drinking contaminated water. It is caused by Salmonellae typhi bacteria. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, headache, constipation, exhaustion, sleepiness, and nausea. Typhoid fever is confirmed through stool culture. Infected person can transfer disease to people in close contact.
Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is caused by Hepatitis A virus and it affects the liver. It is normally spread through fecal-oral route. Symptoms include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice. This is not life threatening and people come out of it without any long-term damage. Once a person contracts hepatitis A, they develop lifelong immunity, so no much chance for getting it second time.
Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea is one of the major causes of concern in children under the age of 5 . Diarrhoea that lasts for 2-3 days is very common and can affect people of all ages. But if diarrhoea lasts for more than 3-4 weeks, then it is referred as chronic diarrhea and it is fatal.
Mosquito borne diseases:
Monsoon is the time of the year when we see increase in incidence of mosquito born diseases. Water logging and drains makes perfect breeding place for mosquitoes. It is said “mosquitoes have killed more people than all the wars in history”.
Truth is all of India’s population is at risk for getting malaria except for those living above 1700 m above sea surface. When Anopheles mosquito carrying Plasmodium parasite bites, the parasite gets released into our bloodstream and we get infected. In about 48 to 72 hours, the parasites inside the red blood cells multiply and finally lyses of the red blood cells. Malaria if not attended at right time can become deadly.
The incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years across globe. You would be amazed to know that Aedes mosquitoes prefer artificial water containers like tanks to lay their eggs . The viruses enters human body through the bites of an infective female Aedes mosquito. Patient experiences symptoms like headache, high fever, rashes, and pain in the muscles and the joints. In severe cases, one may experience severe bleeding and shocks, which can be life threatening.
Chikungunya is caused by Alphavirus and transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. They are a cause of great concern to public health in India. Symptoms generally start 4–7 days after the mosquito bite. The acute phase is characterized by painful polyarthralgia, high fever, asthenia, headache, vomiting, rash and myalgia. In the chronic phase, incapacitating arthralgia persists for months.
Food borne diseases:
The list of food borne diseases overlaps with water borne diseases. In addition to it we will have maladies like Gastroenteritis. Both viruses and bacteria can cause gastroenteritis. Symptoms include stomach cramps, fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.
Air borne diseases:
Common cold: Common cold probably is the most common among all, though not life threatening. Common cold is highly contagious and spreads easily as the virus will be present in droplets coming from patient sneezes and coughs. It also spreads by hand contact. Symptoms usually includes fever, muscle aches, runny nose, stuffy nose, cough etc.
Flu or Influenza: Flu is very much like common cold and is caused by virus. It is highly contagious and spreads easily through coughs and sneezes coming from an infected person. Last year influenza virus created panic situation in India as it lead to many deaths.
Follow good hygiene practices and eat home cooked food. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet and drink lots of warm water. Stay Healthy !