Monsoon Mantras: How to stay healthy during monsoons

Last Modified Wednesday, 26 June 2019 (11:55 IST)
Panaji: While the monsoons, with its pouring rain, bring relief to hundreds of thousands of people, the season also heralds several common and sometimes deadly air and water-borne diseases that include gastroenteritis, malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya, typhoid, cholera, conjunctivitis, hepatitis-A and common cold, which can play havoc with families of those suffering from such ailments.

According to Dr Vijay Naik MD (Medicine), a senior physician at the Healthway Hospital, near the city, it is not the incessantly pouring rainwater which directly harms the body, but the virus and the bacteria, which can trigger a variety of illnesses. 
Speaking to UNI, Dr Naik said while the immune system fights off some of them, others manage to filter through its barriers.
“Vector borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya are most commonly transmitted through mosquitoes. Although not very common, but a high risk, Leptospirosis referred to as Rat Bite fever is a disease carried by infected rodents. Garbage dumps can increase the incidence of such ailments and can be a health hazard to people living in and around the area,” he said.
He said with monsoons, ground water contamination can occur which can cause water borne diseases such as Jaundice, Typhoid, Hepatitis and Gastroenteritis.
Contamination of water due to metals and plastic in water bodies can lead to another set of ailments, like led and arsenic poisoning and various other fungal and skin diseases, he said, adding it also leads to environment pollution.
Children and elderly are more prone to infections due to a lower immunity, he added.
When asked what can one do on a daily basis to help build immunity, Dr Naik said, “It is very easy to manage and build ones immunity. Eating well and healthy foods, getting proper amount of sleep on a regular basis and exercising are three basic ways one can help build their own immunity.”
On precautions one should take to prevent getting the diseases, the senior doctor said people living near possible contaminated areas like garbage dumps and construction sites are more likely prone to falling sick.
Authorities should try and barricade these garbage dumps from residential areas in the best possible way, he suggested.
“Basic precautionary measures that everyone should take are : Install mosquito nets on all the windows and doors, make sure that there is no stagnant and contaminated water which can act as breeding grounds, use mosquito repellents, wash hands often, cover mouth with a handkerchief when sneezing and coughing to avoid transmitting infections, wash eyes frequently with lukewarm water, eat a healthy and well balanced diet, drink clean water. Its best to boil and cool water before consuming. Avoid getting wet in the rains and wearing wet clothes for long periods of time,” he said.
When asked what were some of the critical symptoms which shouldn’t be ignored, Dr Naik said some symptoms that should not be ignored were stomach pains, vomiting, loose motions, chills and fever, especially in children and elderly people as their immunity levels are generally lower.
When asked was there specific disease seen mostly in a particular area in Goa, he said considering that Goa was a small state where people commute from one end of the state to the other on a daily basis, it was difficult to specify exactly where a disease had originated from. 
“But people living in and around village areas have a risk of falling severely ill as they may not have the facilities and the knowledge to tackle diseases right from the early symptoms,” he said. (UNI)
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