Monsoon is a welcome relief from the scorching Indian summer heat. The outset of monsoon and the first rain is celebrated by one and all – birds begin to chirp again after their hibernation, forests become alive and green again, and the poets, as they say, find their muse in the aroma of first rain.
But, beautiful that monsoon certainly is, it can also bring with it health problems, infections and diseases, it therefore is important to take precautionary lifestyle measures to keep the not so good things about monsoon at bay.
Common monsoon diseases
- Dengue: Over the last decade, dengue has been major health issue faced during the monsoon season. Caused by mosquito bite, major symptoms include high fever, rashes, hypersensitivity, body ache among others
- Chikungunya: Caused by mosquitoes born in stagnated water from coolers, plants, utensils etc. major symptoms of the disease include acute joint pains and high fever
- Malaria: Caused by mosquitoes near waterlogged areas, malaria is one of the most common diseases during monsoon. Major symptoms include high fever, shivers, muscle pains, and weakness
- Diarrhea: This common bowel disorder is caused by consuming unclean food and water. The probability of getting this disease increases during the monsoon season
- Typhoid: Caused due to consumption of food that is cooked or stored in unhygienic conditions. Major symptoms of typhoid include fever, headache, weakness, sore throat and pain
- Jaundice: Jaundice is caused due to the consumption of contaminated water or food, and people are more likely to get this during monsoon, because the dampness in the environment is the breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. The disease is characterized by weakness, yellowing of eyes, yellowish urine, vomiting and digestive problems
Staying healthy during monsoon
Many of the monsoon related diseases, infections and health issues can be prevented by consuming the right food. One should take care of the following during the monsoon season:
- Avoid street food: The vegetables, quality of water and oil used by street vendors is generally unhygienic and should be avoided during the monsoon season to prevent problems such as, jaundice, typhoid, and diarrhea
- Consume fruits: Consuming fruits during monsoon helps increase immunity and restore energy levels. Fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, pomegranates, and mangoes are ideal to be consumed during the season
- Drink filtered or boiled water: To keep germs and infections at bay, great care should be taken on the water consumed, to avoid water borne infections and diseases
- Avoid leafy vegetables: Yes, you read it right – during the rainy season leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and cauliflower should be avoided as the grime and dampness present in them make them susceptible to carry germs that are difficult to go even after the vegetable is cooked
- Keep it light: Difficult as it may be, it is advisable to avoid oily food during monsoon to prevent any digestion related problems
- Vitamin C: It is advisable to increase the intake of vitamin C during the monsoon season as a food supplement, as it helps improve immunity and keeps cold related virus at bay
In addition to taking precautions in the food consumed, there are other measures that should be taken remain healthy and hearty during the monsoon season:
- Keep a rain gear/umbrella: A rain gear/umbrella should always be handy in the rainy season to avoid being drenched in rain
- Use insect repellant: Strong insect repellants should be applied to avoid insect and mosquito bites and to prevent diseases such as, dengue, chikungunya, and malaria
- Avoid water logging: Walking through water logged areas should be avoided as these places are breeding ground for mosquitoes and insects which may cause deadly diseases.
- Keeping the skin clean and dry: By keeping the body dry and clean fungal infections and rashes can be kept at bay, which if not taken care of can spread to other body parts. Also, use anti fungal talc to avoid the accumulation of sweat in sensitive body areas
Young children and senior citizens are prone to get more infections due to their weak immune system, they therefore should be more careful during the inherently sensitive to health yet beautiful monsoon season.