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Posted at: Jul 13, 2019, 10:11 AM; last updated: Jul 13, 2019, 10:11 AM (IST)

5 common diseases in monsoon

5 common diseases in monsoon
Photo for representational use only. iStock

Ruchi Gupta

Monsoon brings relief from the heat but it also is a perfect environment for the growth of various viruses and bacteria giving rise to a number of air and water-borne diseases. Accumulated rain water and the moisture present in the air provides a suitable ambience for mosquito breeding which may lead to various life-threatening ailments.

Due to lowered immunity, fever is a common occurrence during this season. There are some fevers which are easily treatable while some require proper medical tests as some of these can turn fatal in near future. 

Here are some common monsoon diseases and tests to detect these ailments.

Malaria

One of the most common diseases during monsoon; malaria is caused by the bite of female anopheles mosquito which breeds in stagnant water. For malaria fever, symptoms include bouts of shivering, body aches and sweating and it generally occurs in cycles. This is due to the nature of malarial parasite as these develop and reproduce in the human body. The best way to prevent malaria fever is to prevent collection of stagnant water and keep the surroundings clean.

The tests for detection of malarial fever as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO are malarial parasite detection test by microscopy and rapid antigen detection test. Ideally, this should be done well before anti-malarial treatment is started.

Typhoid

A water-borne disease, typhoid is commonly caused due to poor sanitation, consumption of food and/or water, cooked or kept in unhygienic conditions. S.typhi is a bacteria which causes typhoid fever. The fever increases slowly over a period of time and drops subsequently in the morning. This fluctuating fever can be accompanied by severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue and headaches. Keep a hand sanitiser; avoid street foods, drink plenty of fluids. These preventive measures may help prevent typhoid fever.

The test for typhoid fever is blood culture. Rapid Typhi IGM and Widal agglutination are some other common tests to detect typhoid fever.

Dengue

It is a viral infection caused by the bite of female Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Sudden high-grade fever, severe headaches, severe and muscle pain, skin rashes, loss of appetite and tiredness are some common symptoms of dengue fever. It can be fatal if not treated in time. Sudden spread of dengue can attributed to erratic rainfall and high level humidity. Using mosquito repellents and growing insect repellent plants like citronella can be a good way to prevent dengue fever.

There are various tests which are conducted for dengue fever. Dropping of platelets is the first indication of dengue fever. Therefore regular platelet monitoring is necessary. Commonly tests conducted are CBC (complete blood count, dengue IgM and NS1 dengue antigen.

Chikungunya

It is caused by mosquitoes born in stagnant water found in air conditioners, coolers, plants, utensils and water pipes. This disease is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes. This mosquito can bite not only at night but during day as well. This fever has multiple symptoms like vomiting, rashes, nausea and joint pains. Clean surroundings and using insect repellents can help in preventing chikugunya.  

The virus isolation is the most definitive test although it takes one or two weeks for the completion. Chikungunya IgM test can also be done.

Hepatitis A

It derives from an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). This type of hepatitis is most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water that has been contaminated by faeces. The symptoms include low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. Wash your hands thoroughly after using restroom and when you come in contact with an infected person’s blood, stool or other body fluids. Avoiding unclean food and water can also help in checking hepatitis A infection. 

The diagnosis is made by blood tests which detect viral antigen and hepatitis A IgM antibodies. Regular full body health check-ups and/or blood tests can usually help in early diagnosis of any disease at its initial stage.

In order to enjoy monsoon, it is first important to be physically well. 

—The writer is CEO and founder 3Hcare.in

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