By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
The monsoon season brings with it a pleasant respite from the hot and scorching summer. The greens become brighter and there is the intoxicating smell of wet earth.
Unfortunately, the monsoon also lowers our immunity and brings with it a bevvy of diseases and dangers to our health. One needs to prepare in advance to be able to avoid these. Preeti Goyal, Medical Director, vHealth by Aetna, shares a few conditions prevalent in this season and some tips to prevent them are:
The drastic fluctuations in temperature and high humidity during this season makes one susceptible to many viruses causing a cold and flu. Taking a nutritious diet and immunity-boosting foods during this time, avoiding junk food and consuming plenty of water goes a long way in protecting against viral infections. Herbal teas and warm honey water also act to protect the upper respiratory tract. Adequate sleep and physical exercise are sure shot ways to boost immunity.
Like humans, mosquitoes, mites, bacteria, viruses and fungi also love the monsoons. It is breeding season for mosquitoes and mites which can transmit diseases like dengue, malaria and scrub typhus. Avoid any stagnation of water in and around your homes and encourage others to be mindful of it too. In case of a febrile illness, contact your physician immediately.
Typhoid and Hepatitis A due to contaminated food/water also become more prevalent during this time. Use only filtered or boiled water and do not use water stored for more than 24 hours.
Consume freshly cooked, light meals. Avoid raw vegetables especially the leafy ones and check all vegetables and fruit for mud, larvae, rot etc. before consuming. Thoroughly wash all farm produce.
Fungal infections especially of the feet are another problem specific to this season. Clean and dry your feet thoroughly every day especially after they are soaked with rainwater/mud. Avoid wearing wet shoes for long.
Wash your clothes regularly and dry them in the sun whenever possible and/or iron them before using. This kills the fungal spores and prevents fungal infections of the skin.
For persons prone to allergies, the monsoon season may precipitate or exacerbate their symptoms. Avoid exposure to known allergens and keep prescribed anti-allergic medicines handy at all times.
Keeping these little tips in mind can make monsoons enjoyable and memorable.
(N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe can be contacted at [email protected])