Rains after a scorching summer heat give delight to everyone. It also brings several diseases due to contamination of food and water with bacteria and virus. Humidity, a sudden change in weather, breeding of bacteria, viruses and insects give rise to infections with fever, colds, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, and diseases like typhoid, malaria, dengue, pneumonia and so on. If these are not attended in time, it may lead to severe complications. If adequate precautions are taken, we can avoid many of the diseases and their complications. The common diseases of monsoon and the precautions that could be taken to reduce the impact on health are as under:
Common cold: Runny nose, constant sneezing, headache, and recurrent sore throat are the common symptoms. It affects all age groups. It is the common diseases in the rainy season; probably that is why it is known as the common cold. It is infectious but not that serious.
Precautions: Avoid sharing towels and handkerchiefs. Wash your hands frequently when touching different surfaces used by so many people. Use your hands to cover your mouth when you sneeze, so that you do not spread your cold to others. Avoid exposure to rains for long. Keep the children away when any of the family members have a common cold. Keep the air-conditioner at normal temperature and avoid ice-creams.
The best homemade remedy is a glass of hot milk turmeric. Gargles with warm water and steam inhalation give relief to your sore throat. If things don’t improve then it is always better to see a doctor.
Common homeopathic remedies are Aconite, Allium cepa, Belladonna, Bryonia, Dulcamera, Euphrasia, Gelsemium and Rhus tox. Each of these medicines have their own indication and may be taken in consultation with a Homeopathic doctor
Typhoid: This is a highly infectious disease that spreads during the monsoon. This is caused by contaminated food and water with bacteria. The most common symptom of this disease is prolonged fever, severe pain in abdomen and headache with diarrhea/constipation.
Precautions: Take safe food and safe drinking water to prevent typhoid. Fresh vegetables and fruits should be washed thoroughly with clean water before eating raw. This is a highly communicable disease so the patient should keep good hand hygiene so that it does not spread to the rest of the family. Take vaccination when the disease is prevalent or going to the place where typhoid is epidemic. Take more fluid to prevent dehydration. Since this disease has a tendency of relapsing in two weeks time, the patient should care and the precautions should continue even after apparent recovery.
Common homeopathic remedies are Baptisia, Acid mur, Arnica, Ars alb and Gelsemium. Please consult a homeopathic doctor before taking any of these medicines.
Malaria: Malaria is one of the most common diseases in monsoons. The disease is spread by Female Anopheles mosquito. Since there is a problem of water logging during the rainy season, mosquitoes get conducive conditions to breed. This is the most dangerous disease in India with the highest number of deaths credited to it. Fever at regular intervals, bouts of shivering, muscle pain and weakness are the symptoms that a patient shows while suffering from Malaria.
Precautions: Since this disease is spread by mosquitoes, the mosquito repellents and nets should be used to prevent mosquito bites. Also, make sure that water does not stagnate in your area as mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Use DDT in the drains near your home. Do not ignore any symptoms of malaria and consult your doctor immediately when there is high fever.
It is always better to take the conventional anti malarial treatment as it is having proven benefits. Homeopaths often prescribe Natrum Muriaticum 30c, 1 dose = 2 pills, pill no. 40, one dose every morning, Chininum Sulph 3X, 1 dose = 1-grain powder, one dose twice daily.
and Vitex Neg θ, 1 dose = 5 drops in 2 ml water, one dose twice daily. However, this should be done under strict medical supervision.
Dengue: Dengue is another serious disease that is caused due to mosquitoes. The symptoms are sudden onset of fever with chills, intense headache, severe muscle and backbone pain, vomiting, tastelessness, weakness, dry tongue, constipation, reddish eye, puffiness on face and a characteristic skin rash. The fever is raised up to 102 to 105 degree, lasts for 5-7 days after which the recovery is usually complete. Over the years, diseases have become serious and one must really take extra care to stay healthy and safe.
Precautions: Use proper mosquito repellents and creams to avoid becoming a victim of dengue. Wear full sleeve shirts and full pants with socks. Use bed nets for sleeping infants and young children, old persons during day time to prevent mosquito bite (mosquitoes spreading dengue are day bitters).
The selection of homeopathic remedies depends upon the individual response to infection. In repertory there are several remedies are mention for dengue fever. Eupatorium perfoliatum and Echinacea angustifolia were found most effective remedies for dengue fever.
Cholera: Poor hygiene conditions and contaminated food and water also lead to cholera. Diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms. Cholera infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe, with profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, leg cramps leading to a severe loss of water from the body.
The precautions include plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) is used to prevent dehydration. Standard home solutions such as salted rice water, salted yogurt drinks, vegetable and chicken soups with salt can be given. Home solutions such as water in which cereal has been cooked, unsalted soup, green coconut water, , and unsweetened fresh fruit juices. WHO recommends a child with diarrhea should be fed continuously. Continued feeding speeds the recovery of normal intestinal function. In contrast, children whose food is restricted have diarrhea of longer duration and recover intestinal function more slowly.
Common homeopathic remedies are Veratrum alb, Camphor, cuprum met and Ars alb. These may be taken in consultation with a Homeopathic doctor
Hepatitis A and E: The diseases are commonly spread through the fecal-oral route (ingestion of contaminated food and water). It is usually a short-term (acute) infection and its symptoms pass away within three months. A vaccination can protect against hepatitis A. Vaccination is recommended if a person is traveling to countries where the virus is common, such as the Indian subcontinent,
Precautions: Avoid eating food that is uncovered and exposed to flies and drinks safe water.
Homeopathic medicines Chelidonium 6X, Thuja 30C, Carduus marianus Mother tincture and Lycopodium 30 are said to be effective in Hepatitis infections. However, the patient should consult a Homeopathic doctor and take medicine only as per his direction.
Some other diseases that get aggravated during monsoon:
Allergic asthma: This is more severe in its intensity and frequency during the monsoons because of weather changes and the associated dampness in the environment.
Amoebiasis is a very common problem during the monsoons, as the parasite Entamoeba histolytica, which is responsible for it, tends to survive for longer under warm and moist conditions. It enters the body through contaminated food or water and produces diarrhea or dysentery with blood and mucus.
Fungal infections are common during the monsoons because of constant dampness and the possibility of coming in contact with filthy water. The moisture present in the environment helps the fungi to grow and thrive, especially in skin folds such as the groins or between the toe.
Monsoon also brings diseases like Conjunctivitis, tonsillitis, earache, pneumonia, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting.
Gastro enteritis is a general term that refers to infections (bacterial/viral) of the gastrointestinal tract. It gives rise to several problems such as stomachache, diarrhea and vomiting, causing loss of body fluids that in turn lead to dehydration. Children are usually affected. Unhygienic surroundings, contaminated water and food items, and overcrowding are the known culprits.
Avoid eating at unhygienic places and drink boiled water to keep gastrointestinal infections at bay.
General care and precautions during monsoon -
If you have kids and elderly people at home, they will be really susceptible and are affected by health conditions like allergies, cough, cold, etc. Even when you are having your diet, it will be really important to be cautious about meal and choose the adequate type of meal that won’t make you sick.
Avoid taking food from outside vendors as that might be infected by flies and bacteria
Home Remedies -
It always advised availing the best medical help at the earliest, especially when there is fever, long continued diarrhea.