During the wet season in the Philippines, a lot of people tend to get sick because of rainy season diseases. This is why it is important for everyone to know what to do if they get sick, as well as how to prevent rainy season diseases in the first place.
How can you prevent rainy season diseases?
Before we talk about how to prevent rainy season diseases, we need to discuss why these diseases are most prevalent during the rainy season.
Diseases such as leptospirosis, cholera, and hepatitis A are known as water-borne diseases. What this means is that people can get infected if they come in contact with contaminated water.
This usually happens to people living in areas where it floods frequently, as the flood waters can easily get contaminated and infect people.
Other illnesses such as dengue and typhoid fever, which are mainly caused by infected mosquitoes biting people.
During the rainy season, the mosquito population increases greatly because this creates a favorable environment that allows mosquitoes to breed.
More mosquitoes means that there’s a higher chance that people can get bitten, and infected with these diseases.
In the case of the flu or influenza, sudden temperature fluctuations can cause people to get sick. This is because the cold weather can weaken a person’s immune system, and make them more prone to being infected by influenza.
Now that we know how these diseases spread, here are some tips on what you can do to lower your risk of infection.
Leptospirosis comes from the urine of infected animals, with rats being the usual culprit.
What happens is that flood waters come in contact with infected urine, contaminating it. When people wade in contaminated water, the leptospirosis bacteria causes an infection.
So the best way to prevent leptospirosis would be to try and avoid being in contact with floodwaters as much as possible.
Wearing boots in flood waters is also a good idea if you can’t avoid it.
You should also keep your surroundings as clean as possible, and drain any possible contaminated sources of water.
Dengue and Typhoid fever
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants can help prevent mosquito bites. Using anti-mosquito lotions are also a good idea, as well as using mosquito nets when sleeping.
However, the best way to deal with mosquitoes would be to deal with their breeding grounds. This means disposing of any stagnant water, since this is where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
Fumigation also works when it comes to killing off any mosquitoes in your home.
Similar to leptospirosis, cholera is also a water-borne disease. People usually get cholera if they drink water that has been contaminated with feces.
During the rainy season, this can happen as flood waters can sometimes mix with wastewater such as sewage, and contaminates sources of drinking water. If a person drinks this water, then they can get seriously sick from cholera.
The best way to deal with cholera would be to make sure that the water you are drinking is safe and uncontaminated. If you are unsure, it would be best to boil your drinking water for two or more minutes. This helps kill off any bacteria that might be in the water.
It would also be a good idea to keep your surroundings clean, wash your hands before and after eating, and cook food thoroughly. These steps can lower your risk of cholera.
Flu is caused by the influenza virus. People can get infected with the flu by being in contact with other people who are also infected.
Usually, our immune system fights off the flu virus and prevents infection. However, the temperature changes brought about by the rainy season can weaken a person’s immune system, which makes people more prone to infection.
The best way to deal with influenza would be to get a vaccine. Pharmaceutical companies update their flu vaccine yearly to help deal with new strains, so it would be best to a yearly vaccine.
Other ways to deal with influenza would be to avoid crowded places, and wash your hands often.
Various skin diseases
People can also acquire skin diseases during the rainy season. The main cause for this is being exposed to contaminated flood waters.
A good way to avoid this would be to wear boots if wading through flood waters. It would also be a good idea to use soap and water to wash any parts of your body that might have come in contact with flood waters.
This helps lower the risk of infection, and helps keep your skin healthy and free from diseases.
Learn more about infectious diseases, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.