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Saturday, June 13, 2009


Several health problems arise during this season. Here are some precautions that you can take to avoid falling prey to these ailments

Dr Parul R Sheth

  Mumbaiites have been looking forward to pre-monsoon showers. A slight dip in the temperature is good news, but the humidity that goes with it is killing. Even after the first few showers, heat and humidity levels rise. And this is precisely what causes health trouble.
    Once monsoon sets in, much care and precaution may be needed to prevent you from an array of health problems. Begin your preparations now to enjoy those wet showers without any worries.
Pre-monsoon woes
Says Mumbai-based family physician Dr Yogesh Shah, "We have been seeing several cases of viral infections, acute
gastroenteritis and Hepatitis A infections this season. Patients come with complaints of weakness, body ache and fever. Contaminated water and food are the main culprits for Hepatitis A and gastroenteritis infection. Symptomatic treatment works and normally, no antibiotics are required, unless secondary infection is present."
Prevention is the best cure
Monsoon is the time when dirty water mixed with sewage and soil can cause infections. Tap water can get contaminated by overflowing ground water. Water-borne diseases or those infections spread by mosquitoes such as dengue,
malaria, chikungunya or the ones spread by flies such as typhoid, in addition to the viral infections such as gastroenteritis and conjunctivitis, are rampant in the city. Precautions are therefore necessary to avoid falling prey to these ailments.
Start acting now
Wipe off the sweat and grime from your face and bathe often to feel cool and fresh. In the monsoon, keep your feet dry. Do not wear wet clothes for long to avoid fungal infections on the skin or nails.
    Drink plenty of potable (boiled or filtered) water.

    Avoid eating roadside foods – cut down on fruits, chaat or pani puris etc, fermented and raw preparations like salads.
    Clean your salads and leafy vegetables under running water. Steaming them is the best way to get rid of germs. Soaking the greens in salt water for about 10 minutes can help remove insects. Avoid eating stale food.
    Clean chopping boards and dust cloths well before use. Wash your hands before handling food, after eating food, after visiting the toilet. Maintain good personal hygiene.
    Use insect repellents, use disinfectants and take precautions to stay away from mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, termites etc. Use dried neem leaves, camphor, or cloves.
    Carry out thorough pre-monsoon checks for any water leakages from faulty plumbing, electrical switches and clogged drains to avoid mishaps.

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