Monsoon Diseases: Monsoon arrives, list of infections and diseases to be careful about | - Times of India (2024)

Monsoon brings in respite from the scorching unbearable heat, but the sudden change of weather increases the risk of several infections. Waterlogging, stagnant water in several places provides germs and pathogens a perfect breeding ground and this makes human beings more vulnerable to life threatening infections.
Here's a list of all infections and diseases one sees during monsoon season:
During the monsoon season in India, several types of infections and disorders become prevalent due to increased humidity, waterlogging, and other environmental factors.

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis

outbreaks are common in India during monsoon season. This is characterized by symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Sudden onset of diarrhea, often watery and accompanied by fever is a clear indication of gut infection. If not treated properly it can lead to complications like dehydration due to fluid loss, electrolyte imbalances, and in severe cases, kidney failure. Gastroenteritis spreads through consumption of contaminated food or water, exacerbated by poor hygiene and sanitation during the monsoon. Prompt rehydration with oral rehydration solutions and management of symptoms through antiemetics and antidiarrheal medications are essential.

Dengue

According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), India reported over 1 lakh cases of dengue in 2021. Surge in dengue cases puts tremendous pressure on hospital infrastructure, limiting the availability of treatment to the public. During India's monsoon, dengue fever surges, marked by symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and a characteristic skin rash. In severe cases, dengue can progress to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF), causing severe bleeding, organ impairment, and potentially death, particularly in children and those with weakened immune systems.

Malaria

Malaria

remains endemic in many parts of India, with significant cases during the monsoon season. Malaria transmission peaks due to stagnant water breeding grounds for Anopheles mosquitoes. As rainy season begins, malaria cases escalate, presenting symptoms such as recurrent high fever, chills, sweating, headache, nausea, and muscle aches. Sudden fever spikes and flu-like symptoms, often accompanied by shaking chills is an indication of malaria infection. Untreated malaria can lead to severe anemia, respiratory distress, organ failure, and in severe cases, cerebral malaria causing coma or death.

Why should one not ignore flu? What are the severe risks associated with it?

Cholera

Cholera

outbreaks occur in several parts of India due to poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water during monsoons. Cholera is characterized by sudden onset of profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and severe dehydration. Sunken eyes, dry mouth, and decreased urine output are warning signs of cholera. Complications can escalate rapidly, causing shock, electrolyte imbalances, and in severe cases, death within hours if untreated. Cholera spreads through contaminated water and food, thriving in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions exacerbated during the monsoon. Immediate rehydration with oral rehydration solutions and intravenous fluids is critical, along with antibiotics to reduce duration and severity of symptoms.

Typhoid

During monsoon season in India, typhoid fever cases rise, presenting symptoms such as prolonged high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and weakness. In typhoid there is gradual onset of fever, often accompanied by loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea, and rose-colored spots on the chest. Intestinal perforation, severe dehydration, and in untreated cases, potentially life-threatening septicemia can occur. Typhoid spreads through contaminated food and water sources, prevalent during the monsoon due to poor sanitation and flooding.

Influenza (flu)

Flu outbreaks are very common during the monsoon, and this is worsened by crowded indoor environments. Early signs of flu include chills, nasal congestion, and headache. Complications can include pneumonia, exacerbation of chronic medical conditions, and rarely, severe respiratory distress syndrome. Influenza viruses spread easily in crowded indoor environments and through respiratory droplets. Monitoring for severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing is crucial, especially in vulnerable populations like the elderly and young children.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis spreads through contact with water or soil contaminated with urine from infected animals, thriving in flooded areas. It has flu-like symptoms such as chills, vomiting, and conjunctival suffusion (red eyes). Complications can include liver and kidney damage, meningitis, and respiratory distress syndrome.

Fungal infections

Due to extreme moisture and dampness, fungal infections such as ringworm, jock itch, and fungal nail infections increase during monsoon season in India, causing symptoms such as itching, redness, scaling, and discomfort in skin folds and between toes (athlete's foot). Red patches or blisters, often accompanied by peeling skin should not be ignored. If left to linger for days, it can lead to secondary bacterial infections and chronic dermatitis. Fungi thrive in humid environments and damp clothing, exacerbating during the monsoon.

Monsoon Diseases: Monsoon arrives, list of infections and diseases to be careful about | - Times of India (2024)
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