Precautions against rainy-day diseases
Alexa Montecillo (The Freeman) - June 11, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Certain diseases are common in certain seasons. Diarrhea in summer; cold, cough and flu during the onset of the rainy days, as well as malaria and dengue, are common health concerns every year. These diseases can cause a host of problems ranging from as simple as not feeling well and having to take time off from work or school – to loss of income, hospitalization, and, in the worst case scenario, even death.

Awareness of the common diseases during various seasons is crucial. Disease outbreaks are natural calamities. Fortunately, precautions can be taken in order to prevent or at least minimize the discomfort and damage from diseases.

Anyone who has had the experience of being stricken by disease will attest that being sick is a very expensive proposition. The cost can even have an impact on the national economy. For example, the outbreaks of dengue cases per year can result in between medical expenses amount to millions, not to mention indirect cost like reduced productivity and unearned pay.

Maintaining a proper immunization schedule, adhering to hygienic practices, consumption of healthy food and clean drinking water, and making sure that there are no breeding grounds of mosquitoes and other insects in the surroundings are a big step towards preventing many seasonal diseases.

As the rains have now started to come, everyone should be watchful of common rainy-day diseases like cold, cough, flu, bronchitis, dry and itchy skin. Most often, these diseases are caused by viral infections. Taking necessary precautions will help to avoid these diseases:

• Wear suitable clothes.

• Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.

• Regularly wash your hands with soap and water.

• Avoid exposure to illness at home or school.

• Eat a balanced, healthy diet to build immunity.

• If having a pre-existing lung or respiratory condition, consult a specialist at this change of season.

• Vaccination against flu may be considered for people at a high risk of getting the disease and for people who are vulnerable, like young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease and people over 65 years.

• Moisturize your skin regularly to prevent dry and itchy skin.

The typhoons that usually come aplenty during the rainy season can aggravate the health situation. The dampness, slush and stagnant water are breeding grounds for a host of organisms and their vectors causing diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, typhoid, dengue, chikungunya, cholera, Hepatitis A, stomach infections, viral diseases such as viral fever, conjunctivitis etc.

Many of the diseases – particularly malaria, dengue, and chikungunya – are transmitted by mosquitoes that usually breed in waterlogged places. Cholera, typhoid, stomach infections, diarrhea and Hepatitis A are water borne diseases, which usually spread through contaminated food and water. Viral diseases are usually spread by air containing contaminated droplets of viruses released by infected people.

It is advisable to take extra precautions in order to reduce the risk of contracting these diseases:

• Make sure that there are no pools of stagnant water.  Keep water containers clean and ensure that flower containers and plates do not hold stagnant water.

• Use insect repellents to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

• Wash hands before eating.

• Avoid eating in unhygienic places.

• Drink only clean water, pre-boiled water if necessary.

• Avoid exposure to people infected with viral diseases.

All seasons have their own beauty and health threats. It is important to stay in the best of health in order to enjoy their beauty. Taking the necessary precautions is the first big step in that direction.

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