-Dr. Sumit Kumar Dubey, Head International Inoculation Centre, NDMC and Registrar ( B &D)
Soon monsoon will arrive to relieve us from the heat of Summer. The rains not only bring us much-needed water but also a whole host of health threats. The vector-borne diseases like Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya increase during the monsoons, and in the present scenario with COVIDJ 9 pandemic having similar symptoms like fever, headache, body ache, rashes, sore throat, etc the situation can become more complicated.
Dengue causing Aedes Aegypti mosquito breeds in stagnant water. The incubation period is 4-7 days after being bitten and the first signs include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, pain around the eyes, and rashes. The symptoms are mild initially but can gradually worsen within few days and may develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever which leads to increased bleeding tendencies. Some patients may develop dengue shock syndrome which is a severe form of dengue and can lead to death.
Chickungunya caused by the Aedes Albopictus mosquito which breeds in stagnant water. Chickungunya is called so because of its distinct arthritic symptoms (pain in joints & bone stiffness)
Typhoid fever is a result of contaminated food and water which is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi. As COVID J 9 illness affects the immune system, chances of getting secondary infection increases if ample precautions are not taken. In such a scenario it is important to pay attention to the following do’s and dont’s especially for people who are C0VID-19 positive & under home isolation:
- Keep all the water containers and overhead tanks etc properly covered.
- Dry all the desert coolers and containers in houses, offices, factories, schools, etc once a week & to add 2tablespoon of petrol or kerosene oil in desert coolers if they cannot be dried
- Weekly anti- larval measures in and around construction sites where there is water collection.
- Use mosquito net while sleeping and mosquito repellants
to be kept on in the houses.
5. To wear full sleeves clothes and to apply mosquito repellant cream on exposed body surfaces.
- Do not let broken earthware, bottles, pots etc to collect outside the roof
- Avoid self medications especially some pain killers as they might decrease the platelet
- Drink boiled water and follow food safety measures and consume fresh & healthy
Healthcare professionals should also rule out other monsoon-related diseases like dengue, chikungunya, malaria, typhoid during testing of C0VID-19 patients.
Taking minimal steps from our side will help prevent the mixing of monsoon-related illness with COVID which will further help in reducing the burden on the overstrained healthcare system. By taking the above-mentioned preventive measures at home and in our surroundings we will further help in decreasing the burden on civic bodies and frontline workers involved in sanitation.