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Stay safe this monsoon

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It’s been a bit since the rains have hit our city and the clouds have been generous so far. So did you soak yourself in the first showers of these monsoons? Or take a stroll down your lane and let the pleasant breeze hit your face? The sudden change in weather that this season brings is always welcome; specially post the scorching summer heat. But while the monsoon comes as an awaited season round the year, it is also a fertile one for most germs and diseases to spread. With a few precautions, you can enjoy a healthy monsoon.  Watch the water: Come rains and water borne diseases are always on a surge. Boil or filter it, but ensure that you consume water that is absolutely clean. Prevent the purchase of water from outside, however, if it is essential pick up packaged drinking water only. “It is important to clean your filter often. Majority of the people never do this,” says Mumbai based physician Dr. Jay Vora. A heavy downpour leads to water that often remains stagnant and becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes, resulting in malaria and dengue. Ensure to cover any water left open in your house and if you reside near a water body, make rampant use of mosquito nets and repellents. While we love to get wet in the rains, walking bare feet in puddles or stagnant water is a bad idea. This water often collects sewage, filth, and rat’s faeces and gets you in direct contact with germs that can cause fungal and bacterial infections. “The skin acts as a natural barrier to germs. For those with even a mild abrasion or wound on their feet, stepping into these waters can be very harmful since they are devoid of that protection and can easily become victims of leptospirosis,” explains Dr Vora. Wash your hands: If you’re a regular with public transport, you’d be collecting many more germs this season. Consuming food without getting rid of them will lead to several gastro intestinal diseases. Never eat without using a good cleanser for your hands. Preferably use one that is medically tested to wash away impurities and keep the infections at bay. While washing hands with warm water is the best precaution, always keep a sanitizer handy so that you can use it if a washroom isn’t available. Eat cooked or grilled food: There’s obviously something about this weather that gets our taste buds tingling. A little shower and we all scream for vada paw and bhajiya. While completely ignoring these foods is becoming a little too harsh on yourself, it’s just better to restrict your temptations. “Eat only cooked or freshly prepared foods since this prevents the growth and accumulation of bacteria. Cooling or refrigerating foods only promotes the flourishing of bacteria. Also clean your fruits and vegetables thoroughly with warm water before consumption,” adds Dr. Vora. You could opt for food that has been grilled or fried. Sizzlers and buttas are less harmful than foods that are left open for long. Don’t ignore symptoms: While you can be slightly less worried during the other months, certain symptoms require special attention during this season. “Moisture becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. What’s worse is that the bacteria undergo mutation and become resistant to medication. This makes it very difficult to treat patients,” says Dr. Vora. Wondering when to head to a doctor? A persistent fever must always be diagnosed. “Also breathlessness, severe muscle ache, nausea, blood in stools, and jaundice signs like white or clayish stools and yellowing of skin must be diagnosed,” adds Dr. Vora. We may crib about messy roads and floods, but we can’t deny the fact that we all love the season for the joy it brings — the beautiful breeze, the kids playing on the streets and people enjoying the showers. So instead of spending most of your monsoons recovering from ill health, taking these precautions will let you enjoy this season.

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