The season of experiencing the petrichor in the air, as enchanted water drops from our skies is here. Monsoon has arrived. As we rejoice in this season, by splashing and jumping into puddles, we often forget some of the threats associated with this wonderful season, threats that can cause a serious range of health issues for us and our loved ones.
During the monsoon season, the risk of infection is higher than any other season because the presence of high moisture in the air makes it ideal for bacteria and viruses to thrive. Let’s take a look at the risks we are exposed to in this season and how we can be safe.
Monsoon diseases have 3 mediums of transmission:
Rainwater is the purest form of water but due to pollutants, it picks up from the atmosphere and the unhygienic methods used to store and distribute it makes it unsuitable. Therefore, exposure to such water places us at the risk of contracting diseases like:
- Hepatitis A
Air is a medium of transmission for almost all contagious diseases. During monsoon, air serves as a medium for infections that can be transmitted through tiny pathogens causing:
- Common Cold
Monsoon brings with it great rains which can lead to accumulation of stagnant water, which provides the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. This, in turn, leads to the spread of diseases such as:
Although the risk of disease is generally very high, such risk can be reduced or even eliminated by following these steps:
- Use mosquito nets and bug repellent machines at homes and apply mosquito repellent creams before stepping outside.
- Ensure that there is no stagnant water inside or outside our homes.
- Maintain personal and environmental hygiene.
- Consume boiled water and thoroughly washed fruits and vegetables.
- Cover the mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid contact with infected people.
- Get vaccinated.
Make sure you are safe before you rejoice in the monsoon. Remember to stay healthy, stay safe and stay happy.
Dr. Satish Koul, Senior Consultant & Director – Internal Medicine, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram