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Stay Safe this Monsoon

“Rain rain go away, come again another day, little johnny wants to play”. But the rains don't stop and johnny falls ill. And the same happens with us when the little johnnies in us surfaces and we step out in the rains without our umbrellas or when the torrential showers spare no one in-spite of how well equipped we are with our rainy day gear. And not forgetting that irresistible urge to eat out. These enlivening experiences however, come with a price. The price of good health. Which is definitely not what we want. So its best for us to know the common diseases which we can fall prey to and stay away from them.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

Gastrointestinal diseases are very rampant during the monsoon season. Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Diarrhoeal diseases particularly show an increased prevalence. The major mode of spread of these diseases is fecal–oral route i.e. consuming fecally contaminated water and food, poor sanitation and direct person to person contact in the form of contaminated hand or objects (like utensils).
  • Amongst the Diarrhoeal diseases, it is mainly the acute diarrhoeal diseases of bacterial etiology that peak in the rainy season. The bacterias involved are Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio Cholerae, E. Coli, Campylobacterium jejuni etc, with Vibrio Cholerae being the deadliest of them all.
  • Typhoid coincides with the rainy season when the fly population increases. This disease has a tendency to develop a carrier state i.e. even after being cured the infection may remain in the gall bladder of the patient and he can still continue to transmit the disease to other healthy contacts.
  • Hepatitis A, associated with periods of heavy rainfall, shows non specific features like nausea, vomiting, fever and mild anorexia. Infections often occur in conditions of poor sanitation and overcrowding.
  • Amoebiasis, caused by Entamoeba histolytica spreads when we consume viable cysts found on the hands and under the finger nails of food handlers. Symptoms can range from mild diarrhoea to dysentery with blood and mucus in the stool.
The transmission of these diseases is very simple to control by making sure we follow simple measures of personal hygiene like hand-washing after defecation and before we eat. Boiling water destroys the bacteria and cysts and makes it safe to consume. Food sanitation is an often neglected area because we so love eating out. If we cannot overcome the urge to eat out, the least we can do is ensure we eat cooked hot food and make sure wherever we eat the food handlers maintain an acceptable level of hygiene. Another aspect of prevention of these diseases is vaccination. Vaccines are available against typhoid, cholera and hepatitis A.

Respiratory Tract Diseases

The viral upper respiratory tract diseases mainly common cold is a result of getting wet in the rains or coming in contact with surfaces that are contaminated by the virus.Constant sneezing, sore throat, runny nose and fever are the symptoms of this disease. The easiest way of prevention is to avoid getting wet and making sure you dry yourself completely if you happen to get wet. A good immune system keeps the virus at bay. Foods such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, honey, barley and flax-seeds are good immunity boosting foods.

Zoonotic Diseases

Leptospira is found in the urine of infected animals like rats. It enters the human body when there is a direct contact with this urine in the form of infected soil or water, contaminated food or water, or through broken skin and intact mucous membrane (eyes, nose, sinuses, and mouth).
It manifests with severe headaches and muscle aches. Avoiding walking along puddles filled with mud and amidst flood waters; Wearing closed shoes while stepping out to allow minimum contact with contaminated soil or water and treating any kinds of bruises or cuts so that broken skin does not become the cause for infection, prevents the transmission of this disease.

So as you get ready to brace the monsoon, make sure you do so with a little bit of care and precaution!

ALSO READ : Monsoon and Mosquito Borne Diseases

Written by

Studied MBBS from Mumbai. Currently pursuing Post Graduation.


  1. Monsoon is definitely the season to look out for. Dr Kazi, you have made a valiant effort to cover all bases with preventive care.