Summers – Preventing Common Infections

There has been a considerable delay in arrival of summer this year but diseases associated with summer are always serious and many patients in our OPD and IPD are coming because of this. Intermittent rains in the previous month had added to mosquito breeding. Every citizen should be aware of the diseases and how to prevent them.

Precautions need to be taken :

Foremost in this list are: Gastro-enteritis followed by Jaundice, infections of skin, amoebiosis, typhoid, cholera, heat stroke and heat exhaustion (these two are reserved for extremely hot months). To prevent these cover yourself well with cotton preferably whites when in sun and keep on drinking sip of water or lemonade. Summer will be followed by rainy days adding Conjunctivitis of this group, toxicity due to improper street food -can be part of the Gastroenteritis group.

What is to be done to avoid these:

Foremost is the hand washing technique (spend 40-45 seconds) followed by proper washing of vegetables. Food should be stored properly and not left in the open, cover it with jali or keep it in fridge. Flies are great source of transmission of disease as they are hopping from one food item to another and dirty waste material. It is advisable to use electronic pest control devices as well as use of wire mash door and along with door closures. Put door seals when ever gap is too much. This will help you in cutting down the use of toxic pesticides and chemicals.

Whenever there is out brake of Gastro-enteritis use boiled water and use of package drinking water is encouraged. Whatever water filters you are using without UV Light may not be effective in prevention of the viral disease.

After hand washing use of dry towel or disposable paper or hand dryer is recommended rather than wet towel. 

Hand washing Techniques 

All utensils need to be properly washed and dried. Use of wet towel for moping the plates and spoon is to be discouraged as is seen in many households. As per study of WHO it has been found that kitchen sinks and taps are the biggest source of harmful bacteria in the kitchen. Use of liquid detergents is recommended

and dirty scrubs are to be avoided. Change the scrub very often, it cost only ‘5/-. It will save lots of money on medicines which you may be paying.

Cut fruit from the market is not to be consumed. Though water melon is a good seasonal item but over ripe which is extra red is not to be consumed, it leads to stomach upset. All fruits are to be washed properly and wiped before use. Cleaning of handles, telephones, slabs, table top and bolts is to be done regularly specially in the summer.

Remember common disease virus and bacterial are very sensitive to sun light or heat and a little exposure is

enough to kill them. At the first sign of Gastro-enteritis, one should be taking small quantity of water mixed with some salt and sugar, this absorbs as quickly as in case of ORS. You can make ORS at home also. Use of lime water is to be encouraged. Aerated pressurized bottles are better when compared with non-aerated bottles. Always check the expiry date before using the product. Preserved food or juice Canes are not to be used at all if puffed or leaking what ever the expiry date is, it is highly toxic food.

Eating Gol-gappa and chat in the market especially during rain is to be avoided. Best is to bring dry golgappa from the market and make your own jalzeera or aam panna and sattu in hygienic conditions.

(Author – Dr.C.M.Bhagat is a Medical Director of Bhagat Hospital Pvt. Ltd.)