Common Monsoon Diseases and their Diagnosis
In monsoon season, there is a risk of getting diseases which occur due to waterlogging and unhygienic conditions .Many of these conditions can lead to life threatening c complications and hence it is of utmost importance that these conditions be diagnosed and treated early
Some of the diseases are easily preventable and one should also follow these preventive measures to keep oneself and the whole family from getting infected with these diseases.
Common cold – This occurs commonly during the monsoon season. It is contagious and the virus causing this condition spreads through the air and through unclean hands. This condition may mimic more dangerous conditions like the Swine Flu and tests for swine flu should be done to exclude it. Symptoms may involve running and stuffy nose along with body ache sore throat and fever. It is always advisable to get the blood tests and the flu test done to prevent the complications. The common cold is self-limiting, however some time it may be superadded with bacterial infection and hence a complete blood count or CBC should be done to investigate a superadded bacterial infection. Lots of fluids and nutritious food and plenty of exercises increase the immunity and help in the prevention.
Diarrhoea: Diarrhoeas and dysentery also occur during this season by what is known as the feco-oral transmission. In laymen terms it means that due to unhygienic conditions the drinking water gets contaminated with the excreta and stool and this leads to these gastrointestinal infections. During monsoons there is waterlogging and the water gets contaminated and hence there are higher number of diarrhoeas in the monsoon.
Amongst the diarrhoeas s “cholera” is a very dangerous condition .In cholera the patient passes what is known as the” rice water “stools and gets dehydrated fast. This rapid dehydration can lead to kidney failure .This disease is caused by contaminated food and water and also poor hygienic conditions.
The diagnosis of this can be made by stool examination and the culture of the stool. A kidney function test should also be done to assess any damage to the kidney .This condition needs to be treated immediately as it can become fatal if left untreated especially in the children and old people
Drinking clean water, hygienic habits such as hand washing and better sanitation can go a long way in the prevention of this disease
“Typhoid” is another bacterial infection spread through contaminated water and caused by bacteria called Salmonella The patient has continuous high fever, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting. It can be diagnosed by blood tests such as Widal test and Blood cultures. Sometimes a patient can become what is known as a “carrier” where the bacteria continue to live in the gall bladder and the patient remains asymptomatic. Preventive measures are the same as the other water borne disease such as proper hand washing and better sanitation
Hepatitis A: Another water borne disease is Hepatitis A caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It is caused by drinking water or food contaminated with the virus. The disease can also be spread by the flies.
The virus causes infection and inflammation of the liver and this leads to symptoms of Jaundice where the eyes and the skin become yellow, and the patient passes dark coloured urine. The patient also complains of stomach pain, Loss of appetite, nausea, fever and fatigue.
Practicing good hygiene, including washing hands frequently, is one of the best ways to protect against hepatitis A. People at risk should also be vaccinated.
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