Monsoon maladies

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  • 1.Monsoon maladies Enemies in the Rain
    Monsoon brings with it the much-awaited relief from the long spell of sultry, scorching summer. When the season of rains people are all set to enjoy it to the hilt irrespective of their age. There are people whose idea of enjoying the drizzle is gorging on their favorite pakoras and chai, while watching the lovely weather from the comfort of their homes. while there are also people who want to go out and enjoy the season dancing in the rain. Children love to jump on the logged waters, splash it on each other and sail paper boats. All these are such merry-making thoughts.
    However the cooling showers bring with them an increased susceptibility to a lot of diseases that are peculiar to the monsoon. It is time we get our safeguards ready and gear ourselves up to face monsoon in its full glory. Doctors have said that this cool climate contributes to the survival of the ultramicroscopic infectious agents in the environment. Children are the most susceptible to these diseases. In India, cities are developing haphazardly thereby causing lack of sewage facilities and adequate drainage system; due to unhygienic and poor sanitation conditions the diseases are striking. The residents are drinking contaminated water due to leakages in the drinking water lines.
    Diseases that are spread during monsoon are basically water borne and gastrointestinal infections. Typhoid and Diarrhea are common. Accumulation of water on the roads promotes the growth of the mosquitoes causing malaria and dengue. Also diseases like dryness, spasmodic pain, high blood pressure, gas formation and gastric disturbances occur frequently. Also one comes across cases of fever and coughs and colds.
    Here are top 6 sinister monsoon-related diseases which we shall broadly explore:
    • Fever
  • 2. Common cold

3. Malaria 4. Dengue fever 5. Diarrhea 6. TyphoidWhat is a fever?
Fever is the most common phenomena observed during monsoon. Right from an infant to an old man, anyone can be its victim.
Fever refers to an elevation in body temperature. Technically, any body temperature above the normal oral measurement of 98.6 F (37 C) or the normal rectal temperature of 99 F (37.2 C) is considered to be elevated. However, these are averages, and one's normal body temperature may actually be 1 F (0.6 C) or more above or below the average of 98.6 F. Body temperature can also vary up to 1 F (0.6 C) throughout the day.
Fever is not considered medically significant until body temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Anything above normal but below 100.4 F (38 C) is considered a low-grade fever. Fever serves as one of the body's natural defenses against bacteria and viruses which cannot live at a higher temperature. For that reason, low fevers should normally go untreated, unless accompanied by troubling symptoms.
Also, the body's defense mechanisms seem to work more efficiently at a higher temperature. Fever is just one part of an illness, many times no more important than the presence of other symptoms such as cough, sore throat, fatigue, joint pains or aches, chills, nausea, etc. Fever of 104 Fahrenheit or higher in adults demand immediate home treatment and subsequent medical attention. Such high fever can result in delirium and convulsions, particularly in infants and children.
Fever should not be confused with hyperthermia, which is a defect in body's response to heat (thermoregulation), which can also raise the body temperature. This is usually caused by external sources such as being in a hot environment.
Signs and symptoms
There are different symptoms of a fever. The symptoms of a fever depend on what is causing it. Sometimes a fever can cause a chill. A chill occurs because when the brain raises the body's "thermostat," the body responds by shivering to raise the temperature. Shivering produces heat in the body. Once the temperature goes up, the person often feels warm. When the fever goes away, the person may start to sweat.
Viral fever can remain for 3 to 4 days. The symptoms are: fever headache nose flow joint pain muscular pain
Risks during a Fever
The main risk of mild or moderate fevers is dehydration. When a person has a fever, they need more fluids than usual. A fever greater than 106 degrees Fahrenheit can result in brain damage and possibly death. Fevers greater than 106 degrees are very unusual.
Diagnosis
A thermometer is used to measure the body temperature. The temperature can be taken in the mouth, rectum, ear, or under the arm.
Generally, hands & foot of children remain cold during fever, but their forehead & stomach remains hot.
What is the treatment for a fever?
Generally, if the fever does not cause discomfort, the fever itself need not be treated. It is not necessary to awaken an adult or child to treat a fever unless instructed to do so by your health-care practitioner.
The following fever-reducing medications may be used at home:
Ibuprofen can also be used to break a fever in patients over 6 months of age. Discuss the best dose with your doctor. For adults, 400-600 mg can be used every six hours.
Aspirin and Paracetamol should not be used for fever in children or adolescents. Aspirin use in children and adolescents during a viral illness causes prolonged vomiting, confusion, and even coma and liver failure.
An individual with a fever should be kept comfortable and not overdressed. Overdressing can cause the temperature to rise further. Tepid water [30 C] baths are a home remedy that may help bring down a fever.
When and how to keep water bands
If the fever is up to 100 degree, then it can be cured at home by using water bands. One should use normal water for bands. The bands get hot after keeping on the body, so keep them for just a minute. If the whole body is warm along with the forehead, then sponge the whole body with cloth squeezed from normal water.
Prevention
Fever cannot be prevented in almost 99% cases. However, a good nutrition can prevent it to an extent.
When should one seek medical care for a fever?
Any child below 3 months of age who has a temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or greater should be seen by a physician or other health-care worker.
If a child or adult has a history or diagnosis of cancer, AIDS, or other serious illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, or is taking drugs, medical care should be sought for a fever.
Otherwise, observe the person with the fever. If they appear sick or have symptoms that would suggest a major illness, such as meningitis, urinary tract infection, pneumonia or any other signs of a serious illness, doctor should be consulted.
Other symptoms that may be indicative of a severe illness include repeated vomiting, severe diarrhea, or skin rashes
Fever blisters are small blisters that turn into ulcers, usually on the lips, mouth or tongue that are caused by a virus. When a child contracts this virus for the first time, the symptoms and the fever blisters can be quite severe.
On the other hand, if the fever accompanies a simple cold or virus, then the fever is only a symptom of the illness. But if there are other associated symptoms that are bothersome, doctor should be consulted.
Some vaccines given in childhood can cause a low-grade fever within a day or two of getting the injection. This fever is usually self-limited and short-lived. If the reaction seems severe or the skin at the injection site is red, hot, and painful, doctors help is needed.
Fever at a Glance
Although a fever could be considered any body temperature above the normal 98.6 F (37 C), medically, a person is not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38.0 C).
Most fever is beneficial, causes no problems, and helps the body fight off infections. The main reason for treating a fever is to increase comfort.
Children under 3 months of age with a temperature of 100.4 F (38.0 C) or greater should be seen by a health-care provider. They may be quite ill and not show any signs or symptoms besides a fever. Infants less than 6 weeks of age should be seen immediately by their doctor.
Ibuprofen can be used to treat a fever. Aspirin and Paracetamol should not be used in children or adolescents to control fever.
What is the common cold?
This is the most common disease that catches people cutting across age lines. You get wet and youve got it. Though it is difficult to forgo the temptation of dancing in the rain, this joy is likely to get you common cold. Common cold is observed during the initial period of monsoon due to the sudden change in weather.
The common cold, also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses
The common cold is the most frequently occurring illness in India, and it is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work.
Causes
More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold. Because so many different viruses can cause a cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. For this reason, colds are a frequent and recurring problem. In fact, children in preschool and elementary school can have three to 12 colds per year while adolescents and adults typically have two to four colds per year.
Symptoms
Symptoms of the common cold usually begin 2 to 3 days after infection and often include:
Mucus buildup in your nose
Difficulty breathing through your nose
Swelling of your sinuses
Sneezing
Sore throat
Cough
Headache
Fever is usually slight but can climb to 102 degrees Fahrenheit in infants and yo