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Sunday, June 13th, 2021

Doctors Voice their Concerns about Waterborne Diseases, Infections


While the other regions in India are in a battle with heat waves, shower clouds have already covered the Pune sky. The northern parts of the country are reporting heat stroke and summer calamities every day. Meanwhile the monsoon is making its way through the Konkan region of Western Ghats to Maharashtra.

A few days back Pune recorded a 45-minute-long 19-mm monsoon shower, bringing a sigh of relief to the people of the city.

“It is indeed a much-awaited relief for Punekers. As monsoon shows its kind temperament to the western region of the country, the city also awaits its share of yearly woes due to heavy rainfall. Monsoon is the time for waterborne diseases like influenza, diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, viral fever, skin infections and the list goes on. Only preventive methods can save the charm of rains without medical hazards”, said Dr. Mahesh Kumar Manohar Lakhe,Consultant - Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases, Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune.

Poor sewage is inevitable during a heavy downpour given the cities civil infrastructure and sewerage system. Pune is one the cities which are prone to water logging, which makes the city vulnerable to a host of diseases. Some of the common diseases during the season which people should look out for:

Influenza: Is a common cold and flu characterized by fever and sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat and highly contagious as the virus is all in the air. Affect the upper respiratory tract nose and throat.

Cholera: This bacterial disease can be fatal if not treated on time. Contaminated food and water acts as a great medium for the bacteria to spread and poor hygiene adds to it. A frequent watery stool is a common symptom to look out for.

Typhoid:  It is a waterborne bacterial disease caused by food or water which is contaminated by the faeces of an infected person. Fly is a great transporter of the disease. If infected, the person will have a high fever, nausea, vomiting, and severe headache. This disease is recurrent in nature as it tends to stay back in the gallbladder even when test reports show “typhoid negative”.

Dengue: It is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes characterized by fever including severe joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, exhaustion, and rash. If not treated in time may cause haemorrhage and circulatory collapse.

Malaria: One of the most common waterborne diseases during monsoon, malaria, is caused by a certain class of mosquitoes breeding in the dirty water. Water logging during monsoon is a great condition for these mosquitoes to multiply in number.

Leptospirosis: It is caused by dirty water or muck.  Common symptoms of this disease are inflammation, shivers, muscle pain, headache, and fever.

Fungal Infection in Skin: Eczema, ring warm, nail infection are some of the most common fungal infection that is highly active during monsoon due to dirty water and poor hygiene.

As prevention is more important than cure, it is important to keep the following tips in mind:

•        Do not wait till situation become shoddier, for any physical uneasiness visit the doctor. Remember prognosis increases chances of cure.

•        Avoid eating outside during monsoon, especially fast food or frozen food. Frozen food is prone to fungal built up leading to diarrhoea or stomach infection.

•        Do no compromise hygiene in monsoon. Take a shower after coming back home with mild soap or dilute disinfectant in bathing water.

•        Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids as it keeps the body hydrated and a good water balance can fight many virus that can create trouble during monsoon

•        Wear rain boot, this will protect the feet from coming in touch with polluted water thus preventing fungal infection.

•        Use mosquito repellents while going out and mosquito nets at home to avoid dengue malaria. One can take a mild dose of paracetamol only after consulting a doctor to stay on a safer side.

•        Always carry hand sanitizer, use it before eating anything.

•        Carry a bottle of boiled water while going out, avoid having water outside or only consume packaged water.

•        Do not eat from roadside food joints.

“Only being proactive with precautionary methods can eliminate the chances of bad monsoon experience of contracting an infection this rainy season. In case of any symptoms, do consult a qualified medical practitioner instead of going for self-medication,” says Dr. Mahesh.




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