While you might love to get drenched in the first shower of the season, REFRAIN is the word that you must bear in mind if you wish to stay healthy and at a safe distance from viral infections.There's finally some respite from the heat. It's time for the colourful umbrellas, waterproof bags and raincoats to come out of the closet. Every monsoon season, the risk of catching various viral diseases is extremely high due to unhygienic conditions and not adhering to basic preventive measures. early diagnosis and treatment of diseases in rainy season is important making the difference between life and death. Here are some common diseases which are highly prevalent during this season that you should be aware about. It is also advisable to understand the preventive measures of these diseases and precautions that you and your family can take as well.
Three types of common viral infections:
1) Mosquito-borne diseases: During this season, people are prone to mosquito-borne diseases like, dengue fever and chikungunya. Dengue fever can also be very serious in certain cases. However, early detection and treatment can help one recover faster from dengue.
2) Air-borne diseases: Air-borne viral infections like common cold most commonly caused by rhinovirus are often mild and can cause minor infections in adults. However, senior citizens and young children are more vulnerable to these infections and it can be fatal at times so need to take proper care. Infections during the monsoon usually start with sore throat, cold and cough and gradually spread to the rest of the body. Symptoms of viral fever are body and muscle pain, headache, joint pain, redness of eyes, skin rash and nasal congestion. Some people also experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The treatment of viral fever is entirely symptomatic and it usually comes down after four or five days. Here are some home remedies for viral symptoms:
" Adequate hydration by drinking lot of liquids
" Antipyretics and analgesics for fever and body pain.
" Steam inhalation for nasal congestion and sinus pain.
" Salt water gargle for sore throat.
3) Water-borne diseases: like viral gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus & astrovirus. Symptoms of gastroenteritis usually begin one or two days after infection. other important water borne during monsoon are hepatitis A and E
Prevention is better than cure:
Avoid wading through stagnant water or flooded areas at all costs.
Take Vaccines for hepatitis A and flu as per schedule suggested by your physician
" One must drink only clean water and use boiled water or water purifiers.
" Try to keep your home and surroundings mosquito free by preventing water go stagnant. Make sure your home is well ventilated.
" One should cover their mouth and nose with a handkerchief while coughing or sneezing.
" Use mosquito repellents and nets (dengue transmitting mosquitoes usually bite during day time; either early morning or late evening) or wear full sleeved clothes while stepping out.
" One should keep their wet and soggy clothes or shoes away from dry garments. Change your towels daily and do not share them as this prevents transmission of the virus.
" Avoid eating outside try to consume fresh homemade food as much possible.
" Drink water every two hours and carry home-boiled water while travelling.
" Avoid visiting crowded places such as theatres or exhibitions places to reduce your risk of viral infection.
" Washing hands before eating any food & Use hand sanitisers while travelling. Avoid touching your nose and mouth with your hand without washing them.
" Cover your nose while travelling on a bike/while seated next to the window in a bus or train.
" Avoid getting wet in the rain.
What can you do once you have viral fever?
If you are suffering from viral fever it is best that you take enough rest and have warm soothing food like soup and khichidi till you get better. If you have very severe symptoms like high fever, extreme body ache, etc. you should visit your doctor for some medicines to give you some symptomatic relief. A number of people tend to self medicate during such times, relying on antipyretics, analgesics and antibiotics to help them out, but remember that self-medication is a bad idea. More importantly a viral fever will not heal with antibiotics. Antibiotics are medicines that are made to kill bacteria, they cannot kill viruses; so don’t take antibiotics for viral infections.