Highly affected by the scorching heat of the summer, the most awaited season of the year by everyone is the monsoon season. As the downpour starts the temperature comes down and everyone experiences an emotional high.
Liked by almost everyone this season also has some negative sides for us to bear with. It depends who gets affected and who doesn’t.
During monsoon, the humidity and dampness increase which makes it a favorable medium for the bacteria and viruses to thrive and spread in. It is seen that most of the epidemic outbreak is around the monsoon, as these bacteria and viruses are the cause of infection. This season brings along with it the common air-borne and water-borne infections such as cholera, typhoid, dengue, malaria, chikungunya, hepatitis, and the common cold.
7 Common Illnesses Occurring During Monsoon
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infection and is caused by female Anopheles mosquito through the bite.
The malaria parasite matures in the liver and infects the red blood cells. It remains dormant in the liver and this increases the chances of recurrence.
The symptoms presented by the patient suffering from malaria are,
The condition is treated with prescription medications. There is no vaccine for malaria yet.
The complications can lead to cerebral malaria (infected red blood cells reaching the brain), breathing problems, organ failure, anemia, jaundice, kidney failure, and low blood sugar.
Dengue is another mosquito-borne infection occurring due to the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito infected with dengue virus. A vaccine for dengue is now available with a long-term protective efficacy.(1)
The infected person presents the symptoms on the 4th to 6th day of the infection which may last up to 10 days. The symptoms are,
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Skin rash
- Severe joint and muscle pain
- Bleeding in nose, gums, and easy bruising
The complications of dengue fever are dengue hemorrhagic fever, liver enlargement, failure of the circulatory system, and dengue shock syndrome.
Dengue fever is treated symptomatically.
Chikungunya occurs due to the bite of the same mosquito which causes dengue i.e. Aedes aegypti. After getting infected the patients presents the symptoms in 3 to 8 days. The symptoms are,
- Joint swelling
- Debilitating joint and muscle pain
- Skin rash
The condition complicates showing the symptoms such as neurological imbalance, jaundice, skin lesions, seizures, acute renal disease, and arthralgia for months to years.
Air-borne infections are the diseases transmitted through infected droplets in the air. The various air-borne infections are,
Viral fever: Transmitted through contact with the body fluids of the infected person.
Influenza: Also known as flu, it is caused by an influenza virus and is characterized by symptoms like cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, muscle pain, headache, and fatigue.
Common cold: This is the most common infection during the rainy season and is marked by constant sneezing, fever, and sore throat.
These are the common occurrences during the monsoons. They are self-remitting and the symptoms can be eased with the home remedies.
However, consult a doctor if condition complicates.
Monsoon is an ideal ground for typhoid which is a highly infectious disease. It is a food-borne illness and is caused by Salmonella typhi bacterium. The infection is passed on through contaminated food and water and due to unhygienic habits.
The symptoms of typhoid fever are,
- Rash, rose-colored spots on the neck and abdomen
- Abdominal pain
The condition can recur, therefore close monitoring of each case is crucial in the treatment of typhoid.
Cholera is another food-borne illness which is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with Vibrio cholera. This infectious disease can cause severe watery diarrhea, dehydration and even death if the symptoms are not controlled.
Symptoms start as soon as few hours to as long as five days after the infection. The patient presents the following symptoms,
- Watery diarrhea
Signs and symptoms of dehydration are,
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
- Dryness of mucous membrane
- Loss of skin elasticity
The untreated dehydrated condition can lead to shock and death.
Food poisoning is one of the most common food-borne infections during monsoon. The bacteria and virus breed on the food that is kept open for a long period of time.
The common symptoms are,
- Loss of appetite
We all love the rainy season and can make the most of it if we follow a few preventive steps.
- Avoid roadside food
- Sanitize hand regularly
- Avoid walking in stagnant water
- Wash your legs if by any chance you have walked in the water
- Any wound should be cleaned and bandaged
- Drink purified water
- Avoid eating unwashed raw food
- Keep the garments dry
- Cook foods to a safe temperature
- Refrigerate perishable foods
Do not consume the food you are doubtful about