As John Ruskin once said, “Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” However, each weather brings with it different sets of health-related challenges- and monsoon seems to top the list. Some of the most common infections during the rainy season are the most acute infections of all, like the following-
|Infection||Causative Agent||Symptoms||Diet during illness||Prevention|
|Influenza||Influenza Virus- Droplet infection||Upper Respiratory tract- runny nose or frequent nose blocks, body aches, soreness of throat and fever.||Increased calorie intake and plenty of fluids- easily digestible foods. Hot soups, Broths, Greek yoghurt(hung curd), green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits.||Balanced and a nutritious diet all through the year|
|Typhoid||Salmonella Typhii- contaminated water and food||Esp Gastro-Intestinal Tract. Headaches vomits, severe abdominal pains, step ladder pattern of fever and body aches||Bland diet. High intake of carbohydrates which are easily digestible like soft rice, porridge and fruit custards. Sufficient fluids like coconut water, buttermilk, fruit juices and glucose water. Soft cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes and fruits like apple, banana and oranges, thin vegetable soups. Avoid high fibre foods and whole grains.||Clean drinking water, better sanitation, and good handwashing|
|Hepatitis A||Hepatitis A Virus- contaminated water and food||Symptoms include, Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin, dark urine), stomach pain, Loss of appetite, Nausea, Fever, Diarrhoea and Fatigue||Maintain healthy calorie intake and adequate proteins. Avoid: Saturated fats found in butter and other high-fat dairy foods, fatty cuts of meat, and fried foods. Include- garlic, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables.||Good hygiene, including washing hands frequently|
|Dengue||Aedes Aegypti mosquito bites early morning and transmits the virus. Breeds in clean water.||Severe joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, exhaustion, and rash. Complication is Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), abdominal pain, and circulatory shock.||Adequate calories, high carbohydrate diet with plenty of fluids. Include- Carrots, pomegranate, passion fruits, cucumber, oranges and green leafy vegetables. Ginger juice and Raw papaya leaves extract is said to be raise the platelet count.||Use mosquito repellents and nets as dengue transmitting mosquitoes usually bite during day time -either early morning or late evening, while those that cause malaria tend to bite at night|
|Malaria||Female Anopheles mosquito which breeds in dirty water and transmits the parasite (Plasmodium Falciparum, P. Vivax, P. Ovale and P. Malariae)||Fever, body ache, chills, and sweating. If untreated, it can lead to complications like jaundice, severe anaemia or even liver and kidney failure.||A well balance diet consisting of cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products, fish(stew), chicken(soup/stew), sugar, honey, etc with fats in moderation. Include fluids with electrolytes.
A high protein and high carbohydrate diet is advised post recovery.
|Antimalarial drugs in mosquito prone areas.
Prevent mosquito bites (wear full sleeve clothing, use mosquito repellents)
Prevent mosquito breeding (avoid water logging, use Insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying)
|Viral Fever||Sudden change in weather, transmitted spread droplet infection||Fatigue, chills, body aches and fever||Nutrient rich diet with plenty of fluids. Immune boosting foods, pre and probiotics should be included.||—–|
|Gastroenteritis||—–||Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea, fever, Malaise, Weakness||Keep hydrated with coconut water, ORS, rice kanji. Bland diet like curd rice. Fruits like apple, banana||Wash raw vegetables and salads thoroughly
Avoid roadside food
Some general overall Preventive health tips during monsoon season that we would like to share with you during this monsoon season for your wellbeing:
- Consume clean, potable water to prevent water-borne diseases like typhoid, jaundice, gastroenteritis, and diarrhoea. Boil the water when there is no availability of potable water.
- Avoid cross-infection by using separate hand towels.
- Use handkerchief/ napkin to cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
- Dry all clothes and garments properly to avoid fungal skin infections.
- Avoid consuming stale food or food prepared under unhygienic conditions.
- Also, avoid visiting crowded places with young children.