The first showers of the monsoon, no doubt, is welcomed with a refreshing feeling of respite from the scorching sun. But it also brings along a host of diseases and infections. Taking care of a few simple things about health like keeping the hands clean will help eliminate most monsoon-related illnesses and can make the weather even more enjoyable.
Follow a healthy diet.
The body and digestive system are most prone to infections in this season hence daily diet has to be balanced, nutritious and hygienic to boost immunity.
Diseases in the rainy season are mostly water-borne so make sure to drink clean water that is filtered or boiled.
Try to eat fresh home-made food as much as possible and avoid street food
Preferably avoid raw vegetables and salads considering the chances for contamination unless prepared at home after washing and cleaning them thoroughly.
Avoid oily food that can disrupt digestion and cause digestive issues.
Drink enough water and remain hydrated
Cold drinks can cause irritation in the throat that may lead to other complications.
Carbonated, caffeinated, alcoholic drinks may cause acidity, gastritis and acid reflux and the added sugars in them act as diuretics.
Freshly prepared warm soups or herbal drinks like ginger tea and lemon tea are a good idea, especially those with antibacterial and anti- inflammatory properties.
Avoid staying in wet environment
Walking in rain water increases the risk of infectious diseases and can also cause numerous fungal infections in the feet and nails.
Wipe and pat dry the wet body and feet immediately and do not stay in wet socks or shoes.
Diabetic patients must be extra cautious and avoid walking barefoot as the ground is rife with all kinds of germs.
Do not stay for long with wet hair or clothes especially in an air conditioned room.
Carry an extra pair of clothes and footwear if possible as a back up.
Keep the surroundings clean and dry
Resolve the issue of damp interiors since the fungus growth in them can cause absolute distress for those who suffer from asthma or any other breathing problems.
Check through flower pots and unused containers that may be holding stagnant water where mosquitoes breed, clean them regularly and keep them covered.
Mow the lawn and crop the overgrown hedges and bushes to get rid of insects and reptiles finding a shelter there.
Stay away from mosquitoes and insects
Water logged areas are breeding grounds for insects and mosquitoes hence steer clear from such areas.
Use chemical- free or herbal mosquito repellents, disinfectants and insect repellents when required but ensure those are not causing further health issues or respiratory problems
Taking shower twice a day will be a good measure to safeguard against infections caused by the build-up of sweat and dirt due to humidity.
Increasing the intake of Vitamin C will boost immunity.
Use of soap that is gentle on skin can save from skin irritations and dryness.
Practise good personal hygiene such as washing hands frequently with soap and clean water to avoid infections
Keep the eyes, nose and mouth safe
Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth without washing the hands properly as you may end up transferring germs to yourself.
Eye infections like conjunctivitis, stye, dry eyes and corneal ulcers are common during the monsoons.
Refrain from touching eyes especially with dirty hands.
Those who spend long hours in front of a screen – television or computer – may also experience redness, itching or irritation.
Wash your eyes with clean water or rose water to get rid of any dirt or germs
(Author is the Director TGL Foundation, Editor Anthropology Today - the Intl Journal, Sr Dir FWO)