In India, it has already started pouring in many parts of the country. Monsoon brings relief from blazing heat during summer, albeit the advent of it increases the risk of contracting some diseases. These seasonal diseases aren’t new and have been handled with ease so far. However, this time it’s different. The credit for it goes to the tremendous pressure on already over-burdened health care institutions due to exponentially rising COVID-19 cases, especially in red zone areas. Given the COVID -19 menace, it is essential to understand the nature of these diseases and their prevention.
Common Diseases in Monsoon Season:
- Common Cold, Flu & Viral Fever: Drenching in the rain may cause the common cold, flu, viral fevers or other respiratory infections. Since it is difficult to differentiate the symptoms between influenza and COVID-19, any sign of respiratory disorder will create a panic and lead to a lot of fear and anxiety.
- Leptospirosis: Any exposure to flood water may increase the risk of leptospirosis. The symptoms of it are also similar to COVID-19 such as fever, severe headache, chills, etc.
- Gastroenteritis, Hepatitis-A, typhoid & cholera: Contaminated water and food cause water and foodborne diseases. These diseases may affect the immunity of a person making him susceptible to COVID-19 in red zone areas.
- Dengue & Malaria: The mosquito breeding in stagnated water and puddles may increase the risk of contracting diseases like dengue and malaria. The symptoms of these diseases are also similar to those of COVID-19. On top of it, these diseases attack the platelets of the patients making him/her weak and vulnerable to other contagious diseases.
Each symptom listed doesn’t need to be present in patients. This very nature of many symptoms makes the diagnosis of fever difficult. Therefore, the precautions against COVID-19 and Monsoon related illnesses need to be more intensive this time.
Here are a few Challenges that we are likely to face in the Management of Monsoon Related Diseases during COVID-19 era:
- Diagnosis of Fever: Fever is the most common symptom in every infectious disease, making it challenging to diagnose it. If a person experiences fever, the focus of doctors will first move to COVID-19 test. It will lead to wastage of resources and time if the person is suffering from other seasonal diseases.
- Delayed Treatment of Monsoon illnesses: Since the focus of everyone is on COVID-19, any symptom of monsoon illnesses similar to the coronavirus disease will result in chaos and panic. The doctors are likely to waste their time in getting COVID-19 test done, thereby, delaying the actual treatment required by the patient. Delay in treating some of the seasonal diseases like malaria, dengue, typhoid and gastroenteritis can be deadly.
- Lack of ICU beds: Patients with diseases like gastroenteritis, typhoid, leptospirosis, dengue, or malaria may need hospital admission. However, it may be difficult due to the scarcity of general and ICU beds as they are already occupied by the COVID-19 patients.
All the above factors make it necessary for each of us to take the required precautions during monsoon. We will have to work towards the prevention of monsoon related diseases this time to give a tough fight to the pandemic COVID-19. Similarly, we also have to keep ourselves ready with first aid and ambulance number to handle emergencies in this era of pandemic without any chaos or panic. We have to support each other and report emergencies to state-run organisations like Ziqitza Healthcare via 108 ambulance and telehealth helpline for timely help because we’re in this together.