The months of June, July and August mark the “summer break” for school-going children in Pakistan. Sadly, a major chunk of this well-deserved break is often spent lying in bed, recovering from some viral or bacterial disease. That is when “monsoon season” kicks in. Monsoon season in Pakistan is a blessing for many, bringing forth cool showers and a significant drop in temperature. However, it also brings with it various water, air and vector borne diseases. Here are some of the monsoon related diseases in Pakistan that you should be aware of.
Cholera is one of the most common diseases caused by contaminated food, water and human feces. The small intestine is affected, after symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, cramps and dehydration occur. Furthermore, the spread of the disease is mostly linked to unhygienic living conditions and poor sanitation facilities. Flies are the main carriers of cholera, carrying germs from person to person.
Diarrhea is arguably the main reason why people are advised against eating out during the monsoon season. Not only is food and water at risk of contamination, but the body’s digestive system is functioning at its lowest. Additionally, not only is it an disease in itself, but can also be found as a symptom leading to various other diseases. Therefore, only those with an extremely strong immune system are able to spend the entire monsoon season without experiencing diarrhea.
Malaria is caused by mosquito bites, whereby they infect red blood cells with plasmodium. The symptoms include high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, cough and even jaundice. Furthermore, if not treated in time, it may cause coma, kidney failure, excessive bleeding and even death. Malaria is a clear example of the effects that poor sanitation and weak drainage systems can have. Stagnant, contaminated water happens to be one of the best breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which is what makes their bites so deadly. Majority of the victims of malaria are children under the age of five, with under developed immune systems.
Typhoid is caused by a bacterium known as Salmonella typhi which is highly infectious and occurs when contaminated food and water is taken. The common symptoms include high fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, headaches and fatigue. Additionally, this infection may remain in the gall bladder even after typhoid is cured, which is why it is important to find treatment as soon as possible.
Dengue fever is one of the most severe epidemics that Pakistan is hit by every year. It is also a mosquito-borne disease, caused by tiger mosquitoes. It is a viral disease, with symptoms including fever, aches and pains, rashes and bleeding gums. Since it is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not an effective cure. Therefore, the best form of prevention is to take care of food and water sources.
Most diseases during the monsoon season are caused by mosquitoes or flies. Hepatitis A is caused by an increase in the number of flies, which also increases germ count in the atmosphere. The symptoms are all generally the same as well, usually being fever, headache, vomiting and body pains. Moreover, it is also a viral disease, which means antibiotics are not effective.
Monsoon season in Pakistan is highly humid. Humidity makes people sweat more, causing the air to be saturated with water vapor. The high amount of vapor happens to be ideal for fungus to grow, leading to fungal skin disease. Heat, accompanied by a poor drainage system causes excessive humidity. Moreover, the lack of proper sewage systems causes unsanitary water to overflow to the streets or form puddles, making matters worse and increasing the risk of fungal diseases.
These are some of the most common monsoon diseases in Pakistan. Additionally, one may experience cough or flu due to the fluctuating whether, as well as other less common diseases. These include colitis, sheet pit and other water borne diseases. Therefore, using adequate preventive measures, especially taking care of your diet during the monsoon season is vital for your health.