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The doctor knows best

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Fever is the most common symptom of communicable diseases during the monsoon and it is essential to see a physician rather than self-medicate, says Dr. Soonu Udani

With the intermittent spells of rain, water-logging and piling up of garbage, cities like Mumbai and suburban areas turn into undesired ideal conditions for the spreading of communicable diseases such as swine flu, dengue and malaria during the monsoon season every year. Fever is the most common symptom of dengue, malaria and swine flu and people are likely to get affected with various rain-related diseases like leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and hepatitis. A spike in the number of patients during monsoon is mainly because of consumption of street juices, food and contaminated utensils.

People should not self-medicate, as it is important to start treatment early in such infections. People should consult their doctors. There is no specific drug to treat monsoon fever. The fever could be due to various factors such as bacterial infection, malfunctioning of body tissues, invisible parasites impacting digestive disorder and painful cramps, which can further lead to some serious problems in one's body.

Besides cautioning people about not having water and food at unhygienic places, we as physicians and doctors should first diagnose/ investigate the infected disorders, evaluate the cause rather than suggesting a battery of tests at the first visit of patients. The risk of developing complications reduces if the patient is kept hydrated with pain relief and bed rest. On the other hand, local authorities should enforce immunisation laws and practicing universal precautions. They should undertake health education relating to disease prevention, hygiene measures for students, families and school personnel. Extreme caution is to be taken with water, air and mosquitoes as they are the primary factors which result in spreading diseases.

People must drink only clean water and use boiled water or water purifiers and cover their mouths and noses with handkerchiefs while coughing or sneezing.  Parents must keep their children away from those with

infectious illnesses while playing with friends in the neighborhood or at school and ensure that their child's nails are always clean to prevent accumulation of germs and dirt; to ensure proper washing of hands and legs and provide nutritious food with a balanced diet. Also parents should take care of themselves so that they don't transmit their virus or infection to their children.

Dr. Soonu Udani is Director, Critical Care and Emergency Service, Narayana Health – SRCC Children’s Hospital

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