A shower of seasonal woes

A shower of seasonal woes

Pre-monsoon spell

A shower of seasonal woes

Monsoon may be on its way but the rains have been making frequent appearances even before the season has set in. Since the weather is fluctuating, hot sometimes and cold otherwise, health and wellness issues are also doing the rounds. The most common of them are fever, cold and cough.

“There has been a spurt in sore throat and viral fever cases. Almost 50 per cent of the cases that have come to me in the last two to three weeks have been these,” says Dr Chandil Kumar Gunashekara, a general physician.

He adds that this could be attributed to the fact that people tend to travel more during this time and the rains.

Therefore to keep oneself free from illnesses, only boiled water should be used for consumption.

“Hand hygiene is another essential part of staying illness-free. Food from outside should be avoided and only home-cooked food should be consumed. One should also try and stay away from people who are affected by virus,” says Chandil.

Viral and bacterial ailments are most common during this time, says Dr Shalini Joshi, internal medicine consultant with Fortis Hospitals.

“This could vary from viral fever and cold to viral gastroenteritis, which is triggered during the rainy season. In the past few days, there have many cases of stomach pain and vomiting; almost 50 per cent of the total cases are these,” informs Shalini. “A food handler could pass a virus on to many people. One has to keep a watch on hygiene,” she adds.

Contaminated water can also lead to gastroenteritis. “When the rains start, one can see many cases of food poisoning. This is the time when there is flooding of the sewage and mixing of water happens, and there are many cases of acute diarrhoea then,” says Dr Poornachandra KS, consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist with Fortis Hospitals. He says, “About six to seven cases have been seen during the past few weeks.

We have also seen two cases of viral Hepatitis A in the last two weeks.” He advises that one should always use boiled water and that bottled water can’t be guaranteed 100 percent safe. “Many times, people think that contamination can occur only outside, but it can also occur at home. There are lots of vegetables and food items brought from outside to the house and they should be cleaned and cooked properly,” he sums up.

Hair and skin also suffer the brunt during the rains but most often these are neglected. Dr Vanita Mathew, dermatologist and aesthetic surgeon of Apollo Hospitals, says that when it’s hot and humid, hair becomes static and frizzy. “Hair should be washed every day in lukewarm water. It should be conditioned well, so as to avoid the static feeling. A mild shampoo should be used on hair, condition it well, dry hair well and one should use hair serum,” she says.

She adds that washing hair often, during this season, is essential to avoid a musty smell. “The hair could be damp and one could easily get fungus. Dandruff is a fungal infection, and it spreads from hair to the skin,” she says.

 “There are many cases where people have to take medication too. There are about 10 cases per day of fungal infection, and when the rains arrive, there is a 20 percent increase,” says Vanita.

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