“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.”
Yes, monsoon is the most awaited season of the year in everyone’s life. Monsoon comes with a cool breeze, cloudy days, and drizzling rains with a happening atmosphere. For most of the people, monsoon is a season of joy, love, and romance.
But like any other season, these cooling showers also come with a lot of monsoon diseases and problems. Humidity in the atmosphere gives chance to rapid multiplication and transmission of various pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungus & parasites. Stagnation of water during the rainy season also allows quick breeding of Mosquitoes.
In India, mostly following monsoon diseases break out each year during monsoon and run havoc through the spines of the country, from village to towns, from cities to metropolis.
During monsoon season, our digestive system along with intestinal functions become weak and thus make the body highly susceptible to any kind of infection.
1. Gastrointestinal Infections (Gastroenteritis)
Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, involving both the stomach and the small intestine, transferred by contact with contaminated food and water especially in the rainy season.
Common symptoms of gastroenteritis are –
- Diarrhea & dehydration
- Pain in stomach and abdomen
2. Hepatitis (Liver infections)
Hepatitis commonly occurs due to having contaminated food & drinks which may contain protozoa present in sewage, untreated water, and flies in the water supply. The infection causes damage to liver cells and causes inflammation of the liver.
Some common symptoms of Hepatitis are –
- Fever & fatigue
- Nausea & vomiting
- watery diarrhea
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- bloating and abdominal discomfort
Basically, jaundice is not a disease but a symptom of any disease affecting your liver. It causes liver dysfunction and mostly spreads through contaminated water & food sources.
Common symptoms of Jaundice are-
- Yellowing of eyes and skin
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea & vomiting
- Dark yellow urine
- Itching in body
Contaminated food or water and bad sanitation can cause this disease which is caused by a bacterium called ‘Salmonella Typhi‘. It is commonly spread through house flies which sit on uncovered food after sitting on open defecation, bad food & garbage.
Common symptoms of typhoid are –
- Sore throat
- Pain in joints
- Constipation or diarrhea
A common bacterial disease caused by ‘Vibrio cholerae’. Poor sanitation and contaminated water are responsible for this disease.
Common symptoms of Cholera are –
- Profuse watery motions
- Severe dehydration
- Muscle cramp
6. Worm infestation/infection
Human intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, flatworms, thread-worms, or tapeworms cause worm infestation/infection either air/food/waterborne.
Common symptoms of worm infestations are –
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Stomach bloating
- Digestive disorders
- Skin rash
Accumulation of water on the roads promotes the growth of the mosquitoes causing malaria, dengue, and chikungunya-like diseases.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread by the female anopheles mosquito. But a parasite called ‘plasmodium falciparum‘ is the main culprit. As per WHO (World Health Organization), in 2019, malaria was responsible for nearly 4 lacs deaths worldwide, and around 229 million people were infected. However, it is preventable and curable.
Common symptoms of malaria include –
- Muscle aches & headache
- Nausea & vomiting
- Diarrhea with abdominal pain
- Cycles of chills, fever, and sweating repeat everyone, two, or three days.
Dengue is also spread by female ‘Aedes aegypti’ mosquito infected by the dengue virus. Hemorrhagic dengue fever is the serious form of this disease followed by massive bleeding from the skin or any part of the body, shock, and death. The good news is that dengue can be managed by effective homoeopathic medicines.
It is an acute illness of sudden onset with the following symptoms –
- High fever with weakness
- Headache with pain in eyes
- Severe joint and muscle pain
- Skin rashes
- Low platelets count
Common symptoms of Chikungunya are-
- Severe joints & muscles pain
- Swelling of joints
- Fever with chills
- Headache & fatigue
- Skin rashes
The rainy season marks the end of the dry & hot season, but high humidity makes skin look oily, patchy and also making it prone to monsoon skin diseases such as eczema, ringworm, and fungal infections.
1. Fungal infections
Wet and humid atmosphere is a breeding ground for microbes. Athlete’s foot and ringworm are the common fungal infections of monsoon season. Athlete’s foot is usually affected between the toes and the underside of the front part of the foot & marked by red itchy patches and white flaky skin.
Ringworm is characterized by a raised brownish red patch that can occur anywhere around the body & is usually marked with a ring around it.
2. Skin conditions
Other monsoon diseases
Arthritis esp. rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or other types of joint & muscle pains get aggravated in the rainy season due to high humidity.
Conjunctivitis commonly known as eye flu/pinkeye could occur because of allergy or infection, the latter being more common during the rains & results in redness, itching, irritation, and watering of the eyes. Pinkeye can be treated by a natural & effective eye drop.
3. Flu, Cold & Cough, and Allergies
During monsoon, many air-borne pathogens become more active and cause common cold & cough, flu, influenza.
Common symptoms are–
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Fever with a sore throat,
- Cold and cough.
- Chest congestion
Asthmatic people are frequent sufferers and their condition may get severe in the damp and humid atmosphere of monsoon season. Kids are more prone to get allergies.
What leads monsoon to be notorious for bringing such diseases?
- Lack of sunlight during monsoon gives chance to flourish the germs uninterruptedly.
- Diseases spread during monsoon may be waterborne, airborne, or vector-borne.
- The sudden onset of monsoon after the recession of an extended hot summer diminishes the normal health status of an average individual forcing him prone to diseases.
Due to low levels of immunity in children, they often fall sick during monsoons as compared to adults. They are also more prone to get contamination as they frequently play outdoors.
Tips to monsoon diseases prevention
For Mosquito-borne diseases:
- Avoid stagnation of water around your house, it can lead breeding of mosquitoes in the future.
- Wear full-sleeved thick clothes and cover yourself as much as you can to avoid mosquito bites.
- Use mosquito repellent.
- Use mosquito net while sleeping.
- Keep windows and doors closed or netted after evening.
- Keep your surroundings neat & clean.
For Water Borne Diseases:
- Always drink boiled water or bottled water.
- Eat fresh and covered food. Avoid street foods.
- Always wash your hands with soap properly before and after, you eat anything.
- Keep your surroundings neat & clean and ensure proper sanitation.
- Avoid open defecation.
Follow given tips in monsoon season to prevent monsoon diseases spread and keep you healthy & safe
- Take balanced and nutritious food to boost your immunity.
- Regular exercise or yoga can also keep you fit and strong internally.
- Eat light food and avoid eating out in the monsoon.
- Fresh vegetables should be properly cooked and steam.
- Re-hydrate yourself and try to drink warm water.
- Keep your home neat & clean, well ventilated to avoid dampness and humidity.
- Children enjoy playing in rainwater. Make sure they have good footwear, no cuts/ bruises on their feet, and wash their feet afterward well with soap is important to prevent any infection.
- Prohibit mosquito breeding by avoiding the accumulation of water in your surroundings. Use Mosquito nets wherever it is possible.
- Diabetic patients need to take extra care of their feet during the monsoon season, as not to walk barefoot.
- Ensure that a fungus does not grow in the wooden furniture and other articles like shoes and leather bags.
Most importantly, if you feel you are exposed to any disease or have any symptoms, seek medical advice and consult your physician immediately.
A little effort coupled with care and caution from your side can help you enjoy this monsoon to its fullest.