Monsoon Malady: Know Why Waterborne Diseases Are On The Rise + Vital Tips To Tackle Them By Dr. Gaurav Patil, Gastroenterologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai.


The COVID-19 pandemic has confronted the whole world with urgent and unsolved challenges, claiming more than half a million lives, sparing no region. As India continues to step up its capacities to prevent further spread of COVID- 19, we have entered the phase of Monsoon. Although it comes as a pleasant change, one cannot overlook the host of seasonal diseases accompanying the heavy showers. Disease such as Dengue, malaria, Hepatitis and typhoid can give a tough time to people. Hence, it is time they should safeguard themselves against these diseases, and stay hale and hearty.

Every year we see a spurt of monsoon maladies and this year too we are reeling under the burden of gastrointestinal diseases. While Malaria and Dengue continue to prevail, water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, jaundice, typhoid are raging all over. Most of these cases are seen from crowded pockets of the city, especially with improper hygiene and water drainage facilities. Besides, the consumption of unwashed raw fruits and vegetables and street food increases the risk of getting sick.

Be watchful of these symptoms

· Several cases of stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis crop up wherein the patients suffer from loose stools, cramps abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting for a few days. This can lead to the risk of dehydration and toxic symptoms. If left unattended this can lead to the risk of dehydration and toxic symptoms
· Sometimes Bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella enter the body through contaminated food and water and cause fever, swelling in the intestines leading to blood and mucus in the stool; many of such cases require hospitalization.
Adhere to these preventive measures
· As we all know by now, prevention is the name of the game. Stick to boiled water as much as possible; avoid raw, uncooked or stale food which has been left open for a long time.
· Maintaining hygiene not just self-care but liberal washing of food and utensils limits the risk of infection.
· If symptoms develop, we advise consuming plenty of rehydrating liquids namely homemade ORS which is extremely easy to make and highly potent.
· One must avoid beverages or aerated drinks which may worsen the symptoms by increasing the stool volume. Avoiding spicy, oily, or processed food can be beneficial and provide the gut adequate rest to recuperate.
· Probiotics like curds, yoghurt have an extremely beneficial effect in treating such cases and can be consumed at home.
· Avoid self-medicating with antibiotics as the majority of cases are due to a viral cause and are self-limiting.
· If there is fever, excessive vomiting, mucus, or blood in stools one must immediately consult a physician for further advice. Hospitalization is needed in such situations.

Kids and the elderly are at a higher risk of suffering from such complications of such diseases thereby making it sure they eat and drink right all the time. Sometimes patients who have chronic intestinal problems like IBS or IBD Inflammatory bowel disease may experience worsening of their symptoms, in which case it is essential to discuss with the primary physician.

Takeaway: It is essential to take note of the symptoms of dengue, malaria, hepatitis, and typhoid as early as possible. Avoid delaying the treatment and seek immediate medical attention.