New Delhi: This year, as on July 22, Delhi has reported 187 cases of dengue, the highest for the period since 2018, according to a report by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), released on Monday (July 24). 61 cases of malaria have been recorded in the same period. This monsoon, Delhi is also witnessing an outbreak of conjunctivitis. According to Dr JS Titiyal, Chief of RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS, the national capital is reporting 100 such cases per day, reported news agency ANI.
Dengue, malaria, and conjunctivitis are all a result of extremely heavy rainfall in Delhi in the recent past, leading to a flood-like situation. The government is expecting the number of cases to be more than last year. But why do we see a rise in infections during monsoon? And, how to protect yourself? Team Banega Swasth India interacted with Dr. Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist and Epidemiologist at P.D. Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai to know all about it.
Monsoon And A Rise In Infections:
- The monsoon tends to be a season with a preponderance of infectious diseases. Airborne infections such as influenza, viral respiratory tract infections, water and food-borne diseases such as typhoid and vector or insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, tend to be quite common in the monsoon.
- Lower temperatures during monsoon facilitate the growth and replication of viruses. Viruses tend to like this temperature. Because of the lower temperature and rain, people tend to crowd and aggregate indoors. But, crowding indoors with a lack of proper ventilation can often enable the spread of respiratory tract infections.
- Flooding leads to contamination of water and food sources, and consequently leads to food and water-borne diseases.
- If you walk or wade through muddy waters during a flood, you can get diseases such as leptospirosis (bacterial infection).
- Cesspools of water or stagnant water often serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and flies, resulting in vector-borne or insect-borne diseases.
Tips To Protect Yourself From Infections:
- Take the influenza vaccine short especially if you are at a high risk of contracting the disease or are immunocompromised.
- If you are ill, wear a mask so that you don’t spread infection. It is to protect others. Wear an N95 mask especially when you are in a crowded place or when you are indoors with poor ventilation.
- Ensure you consume good quality water and food. Try and drink water which is filtered especially with a UV filter. Boil water if you don’t have access to a UV filter. Eat freshly prepared and well-cooked food.
- Don’t let water accumulate around you. Drain it to avoid the growth of mosquitoes. Try and use mosquito repellent when you are outdoors or when you are exposed to mosquitoes. You can also use a mosquito net at home.
- If you get a fever, especially after an incident where you had to walk through water, consult your physician at the earliest.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands. It protects us from a lot of food-borne as well as respiratory illnesses.
You can listen to the full Banega Swasth India podcast discussion by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.