Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee
President, Heart Care Foundation of India
After the intense summer heat, the arrival of monsoon is a cause of much cheer, but it also brings along a whole lot diseases. Monsoon reduces the immunity of the body.
The most common diseases in the monsoon are malaria, dengue, Chikungunya, jaundice including gastrointestinal infections like typhoid and cholera. Viral infections like cold and cough also make their presence felt.
Chikungunya patients, classically, have joint pains that are relieved by flexing the limbs. Dengue, if not adequately managed, can be fatal in 1 to 4 percent of cases but chikungunya, though not fatal, can cause chronic debilitating joint pains that may last for years. Dengue management involves fluid resuscitation and not platelet resuscitation. Mortality can be reduced if enough fluids are given. The mortality period usually starts when the fever subsides. Inappropriate use of anti fever medicines can precipitate bleeding in dengue patients.
The collected rainwater becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Contamination of drinking water is common. It is important to drink clean and pure water to prevent diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections. Walking in dirty water during rainy season may cause numerous fungal infections, especially of the feet.
Diabetic patients need to take special care of their feet. The feet should always be dry and clean. They should avoid walking in dirty water and keep their shoes, socks and raincoats dry and clean.
Asthmatic patients should take precautions to prevent dampness and growth of fungus (mold) on and around the house where live. Avoid fumigation in case of asthmatic patients.
During rains, worms from below the soil come up to the surface and contaminate the surface vegetables. In the presence of weak digestive fire this can cause gastric disturbances. It is due to this reasons that community lunches and marriages are prohibited in this season. One should eat light food. Consuming barley, rice and wheat is good. Water should be boiled before use. Adding ginger and green in daily diet is helpful. Eating warm food is the rule.