27.2 C
City of Banjul
Tuesday, December 5, 2023

I love rains

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By Ramatoulie Jobe
4th year medical student

It might be the best time of the year for some of us for various reasons and preferences. Well, we can narrow it down to driving the mean and wild heat of the summer away, bring in along greenery which our farmers love dearly and embrace, the cold breeze and cold weather just to mention a few. As much as it can be a pleasant moment for humans, we ought to remember we are not the only ones ready to capitalize on such moments. Insects and other organisms are in the race with us. They aren’t our competitors, yet they might win the race.

in last week’s article, ( https://standard.gm/health/malaria-2/#)the writer took us through malaria, one of the most common diseases associated with the rainy season. That was quite essential. I hope your mosquito nets are in place, insecticides and repellents at war with the mosquitoes and if you’re expecting a baby, I hope you’ve taken your fansider tablets

What are we talking about today? Is malaria all? No, it is just a tip of the iceberg of the non-exhaustible health threats of the rainy season. As mentioned earlier it is not only pleasant to humans but to insects and microorganisms as well. Due to a humidified atmosphere and stagnant water at several places, the weather becomes favorable to water-borne insects for breeding, resulting in an increase in the number of rain insects, flies and mosquitoes. These vectors cause diseases and several infections such as cholera, diarrhoea, malaria, respiratory tract infections, cold, flu and skin infections. 

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1. Cold and Flu.

Have you noticed that almost everybody around is sneezing and has a cold? Sadly, we believe it is because of the cold water we drink, the fans and Ac’s as temperatures skyrocket sometimes. But temperatures do drop at some point so why the cold? The drastic fluctuation in temperature makes the body susceptible to bacterial and viral attacks, resulting in cold and flu.

Children are in developing stage; hence they have a weak immune system when compared to adults. Thus, they are more susceptible.

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2. Cholera

Cholera is a waterborne infection caused by bacteria and it affects the digestive system causing severe dehydration and diarrhea. Caused by ingestion of contaminated water or food.

3. Hepatitis A

This infection is caused by contaminated food and water and mainly affects the liver. Some common Hepatitis A symptoms seen are fever, vomiting, rash, etc. 

4. Diarrhoea

From viral infections, bacterial infections, or parasitic infestations. These pathogens typically reach the large intestine after entering orally, through ingestion of contaminated food or water, oral contact with contaminated objects or hands, and so on. It might be accompanied by vomiting and In severe cases it can lead to shock (low blood pressure) due to dehydration and kidney failure over electrolyte imbalance.

5. Dengue fever

A disease caused by viruses that are transmitted to people by mosquitoes. Dengue fever usually causes high grade fever, skin rash, and pain (headaches and often severe muscle and joint pains).

The disease has also been termed “breakbone” or “dandy fever” because the unusually severe muscle and joint pains can make people assume distorted body positions or exaggerated walking movements to reduce their pain.

6. Fungal infections

Fungal infections usually on the skin or feet increase during the rainy season. Wearing wet clothes for so long and closed tight shoes increases the risk of developing fungal infection. Thus, opt for open shoes during hot and humid days to prevent fungal feet.

7. Road traffic accidents:

With the bad condition of most of our roads, the rains bring increased hazards for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Riders should know — and practice — proper risk management.

So a question arises. “What should be done to avoid getting into such conditions “. It is true that ‘Precaution is better than cure’ for such circumstances. Here is some Advice.

Personal hygiene: As discussed above, the rainy season is the breeding season of various insects, germs, bacteria and virus which is one of the main sources of infections and illness.

It is not easy to protect children from these vectors as they are present in the environment all the time. To protect the health, make sure to keep yourself as well as environment clean and dry all the time.

Sanitization should be in the to-do list before cooking as well before having a meal. 

During rainfall, children tend to get wet while playing in the rain. In such a condition, they should take a shower after playing in the rain.

Healthy & balanced-diet: Have food rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and provide nutritional value to the body. These nutrient components strengthen the immunity system of the body and help fight infections.

It is advisable to avoid raw foods such as salad and raw eggs, as there lay a high risk of contamination due to these food items. The reason behind this condition is they are not cooked above 45F and thus the bacteria might stay alive and harm the body.

Also, fruits and vegetables should be cleaned thoroughly in clean water before consuming or using them.

Freshly cooked food items:  Diseases like typhoid, diarrhea and cholera are widespread during this season. Usually, these diseases affect children in due to consumption of contaminated water and food. Thus, to avoid any water and food-borne diseases, make sure to have freshly prepared food. Also, do not have leftover food unless it is reheated. 

Street food and meals in the restaurant and hotel should be avoided, as there is no guarantee of the hygiene.

Stay hydrated: It is a proven fact that a hydrated body can fight off cold and flu. There are several advantages of staying hydrated and one is- it keeps the system clean and flushes out all the germs and toxins from the body. Though, contaminated water is one of the main sources of diseases like hepatitis, and diarrhoea, so boiling or filtering water is an option (in areas where clean drinking water is unavailable).

Clothes and footwear: When it comes to clothes, carrying umbrellas raincoats are must things to protect from rain. But apart from this, preferably be dressed in loose cotton clothes, which allow the skin to breathe and don’t wear wet clothes

Shoes should be clean, so feet can be protected from infections caused by rainwater.

Proper care and precautions at the right time can help people to enjoy the weather completely without getting affected physically. Tips given above are basic and can be followed easily in daily life and hence, the diseases can be avoided very easily.

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