Monsoon brings along pleasant showers and a cooler climate. However, it also brings along viral infections, bacterial infections, air-borne and water-borne diseases. Fever happens to be one of the most common symptoms in many diseases. This often tends to mislead patients. The number of patients complaining of fever and associated conditions rises sharply in the monsoon. Doctors recommend that any episode of fever should not be taken lightly and a medical investigation must be done. Avoid self-medicating.
Beware of these Common Monsoon Diseases
- What can be the cause of fever?
- Is it a viral infection?
- Is it a bacterial infection?
- Are any blood tests needed?
What is Fever?
When any bacteria or virus attacks on our body, then our body tries to kill it. When the body increases its temperature for this purpose, it is termed as Fever. Whenever the body temperature increases from normal (98.3), it will be called Fever. Fever may need paracetamol, water sponges or even anti-bacterial medicines to control. You will need medical advice on this.
Common Monsoon Fever And diseases
The troublesome thing is that many monsoon-related illnesses share similar symptoms such as fever and body ache. This makes it difficult to distinguish between different types of diseases. Here are some of the most common underlying causes of fever:
- Viral Fever: An intense fever that lasts for three to five days, accompanied by severe chills and body aches. It typically lasts three to five days and goes away as quickly as it comes.
Viral fever symptoms
- Dengue Fever: A fever that lasts for up to seven days often with a drop and then small resurgence towards the end, plus headache, swollen and painful joints, and then a rash. After the fever, finger and toe joints may swell and start hurting, and some patients report a pin-prick rash over their legs, arms, and torsos.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
- High fever.
- Low palette count.
- Malaria: A short-lasting, recurring fever, accompanied by chills and body ache. The short duration and recurrence of symptoms are what really distinguish malaria from other illnesses. Fever and chills last around five hours at a time but return every second day.
Malaria fever symptoms
- High fever.
- Body ache.
- Body chills.
- Typhoid: This disease is transmitted by a bacteria named as ‘Salmonella’, due to which ulcers are formed in the intestine which results in fever. Mixing of sewage water in the drinking water is the main cause of this disease. This disease can happen anytime in the year but it spreads mostly in the monsoon season because of poor sewerage conditions in this season.
Typhoid fever symptoms
- Prolonged high fever
- Abdominal Pain.
- Chikungunya: Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash. Joint pain is often debilitating and can vary in duration. There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.
Chikungunya fever symptoms
- Acute joint pain.
- High fever.
- Seasonal Influenza: Unless a new flu virus is causing infection, infected people otherwise healthy usually have a mild fever accompanied by cough, nasal congestion and body ache that lasts for five days to a week.
- Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. It is spread through direct contact with urine from infected animals or through water, soil or food contaminated with their urine. High fever, headache, bleeding, muscle pain, chills, red eyes, and vomiting are some symptoms.
Leptospirosis fever symptoms
- High fever.
- Muscle aches.
- Abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
Common Monsoon Infections
Let’s figure other common monsoon infections and symptoms;
Cholera is caused due to the consumption of contaminated food and water. Poor sanitation and hygiene also cause it. Cholera needs immediate treatment because it can cause death within hours. Some symptoms include:
- Low blood pressure.
- Muscle cramps.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Dry mucous membrane.
Diarrhoea is one of the most common health complaints during monsoon season. It can range from a temporary condition to a potentially life-threatening one. This can be caused due to the consumption of unhygienic food and water. Some symptoms include:
- Loose watery stools.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Blood in the stool.
Common cold and flu:
The sudden change in weather, causing fluctuations in temperature, is the main cause of cold and flu during the rainy season. During monsoons, the immune system weakens and becomes vulnerable to cough, cold and flu. Some symptoms include:
- Aching muscles.
- Runny nose.
Stomach infections happen when you consume unhygienic food and liquid products. Gastroenteritis is one common stomach infection that occurs in this season. Drinking enough boiled water and home-cooked food is advised in this situation. Some symptoms include:
- Low-grade fever.
- Nausea, vomiting or both.
- Abdominal cramps and pain.
Tips for monsoon infections
Here are a few tips to follow to stay away from diseases:
1. Try to keep your home and surroundings mosquito-free.
2. Use a mosquito repellent and wear full-sleeved clothes while stepping out.
3. Avoid visiting crowded places to reduce your risk of viral infections.
4. Drink only boiled water.
5. Consume fresh homemade food.
6. Make sure your home is well ventilated.
7. Washing hands before eating any food.
8. Avoid touching your nose and mouth with your hand without washing them.
Play safe this monsoon, Eat a healthy diet and keep yourself away from mosquito bites. However if you or a family member especially children suffer from any illness, do not take it lightly. Many symptoms can be misleading and need medical attention.
Fever Blood Urine Testing and Diagnosis
The symptoms of most mosquito-borne diseases are similar, making diagnosis hard without tests. There are, however, minor differences in symptoms that can help your physician distinguish between the infections, so it’s important for you to explain all your symptoms clearly. A blood test is also highly beneficial for timely and correct diagnosis.
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Tips to prevent monsoon viral infections
Maintaining proper hygiene can help in preventing viral infections during monsoon. Make sure you wash your hands before and after your meals, after sneezing, coughing, petting, gardening, using the washroom, etc. Also, make sure you don’t pick your wounds or cuts to avoid the spread of bacteria.
2. Eat home-cooked food
What you eat determines how prone you are to catch viruses and infections. During monsoons, a good idea would be to eat foods that give a boost to your immunity. Avoid eating food from outside during the rainy season. It is likely to have stayed in an unhygienic environment with a lot of germs breeding over it. During the rainy season, it is also advised to avoid eating cut fruits and vegetables.
3. Stay hydrated
Keeping yourself well hydrated is an evergreen health tip that will always work in your favor. It will make you feel healthy and prevent the onset of diseases. Along with aiding weight loss, staying hydrated can help in fighting germs and infections.
4. Sleep well
A good night’s sleep is important for healthy immunity. Missing sleep or sleeping for less than six hours a day can put you at a sleep debt, thus making you feel tired and fatigued. It makes your body weak and more prone to catching infections and viral fever.
5. Watch out for contaminated water sources
As much as staying hydrated is important, it is also crucial to ensure that the water is pure and clean.
6. Wash fruits and vegetables before cooking
This is an important tip, irrespective of the season. Before cooking, wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly. Before fruits and vegetables reach you, they are exposed to dust, dirt and harmful bacteria that can cause viral fever and infection.
7. Avoid sharing when suffering from cold or fever
As mentioned above, viral fever is contagious. If you are already suffering from an infection or have a cold or cough, avoid sharing your food and drinks with anyone. It takes only a few germs to jump from an infected person to a healthy person.
8. Prevention is better than cure
Protect yourself during the rainy season. Keep yourself warm and feed yourself with immunity-boosting foods like hot soups, fermented foods, dried fruits and nuts, and leafy green veggies to name a few. Get a flu vaccine and encourage others around you to do the same.
Which diseases are rampant during monsoons?
During monsoons our immune system is weakened, this results in many water-borne diseases. Cold and Flu, Mosquito Borne Diseases, Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Why is malaria common in rainy season?
This is the most common disease during the rainy season. Malaria is spread by Female Anopheles mosquito. Since there is a problem of water logging during the rainy season, mosquitoes get conducive environment to breed. Since malaria is spread by mosquitoes, so mosquito repellents and nets should be used to prevent it.
How can we prevent diseases in rainy season?
Practicing some simple health tips for rainy season will help prevent disease, so follow those above given prevention steps.
Is malaria a bacteria?
Malaria is not caused by a virus or bacteria. Malaria is caused by a parasite known as Plasmodium, which is normally spread through infected mosquitoes. A mosquito takes a blood meal from an infected human, taking in Plasmodia which are in the blood.
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