Monsoon Ailments

July 08, 2008

I am late!

Monsoon has already struck its favourite parts in India with great zeal and enthusiasm. Can’t ignore the bumpy splashy precarious rides on the motor bikes through the heavy rain dressed up like an astronaut. Can’t forget the tricky rains which pour out only while you leave for office or while coming back.

The Edavappathy or Kalavarsham in Kerala (south-west monsoon) begins just when your school reopens after summer vacation. Though a rain is welcome in the blazing heat, it comes along with its closest chums, discomforts and ailments. The most common diseases of the season are the water borne and gastrointestinal illnesses. Typhoid, diarrhea and jaundice in union with malaria, chikungunya and dengue (thanks to mosquitoes) pester men far and wide. Not to forget dysentery, conjunctivitis, asthma, arthritis and the skin diseases arising from unhygienic water-logging. The schools echo the coughs of little children troubled by viral fever and colds.

The monsoon brings a sudden change in the weather. It is a quick change from heat to cold and humid conditions. So be careful!

The People

-Eat light to avoid intestinal disorders. You would not want infections.
-Drink only boiled or filtered water. During cold seasons, we have a tendency to drink less water. But water is important even then to improve digestion and to prevent water-retention.
-Avoiding eating out as far as possible.
-Wash and boil vegetables well.
-Avoid cold drinks and cold food to avoid displeasing Vata ( dosha ).
-Keep yourself warm especially if you have arthritis or asthma.
-Do not sit for long in school or office with wet clothes on. Always have replacements handy.
-Children should avoid playing in the water on the road sides.
-Take proper bath after any outing and use antibacterial lotions.
-Do not walk outside during lightning and thunder. Your family knows that you are brave and you don’t have to prove it.

The House and the Environment

-Clean the house well to avoid mild dew.
-Avoid spending too much time in the place where you dry your wet clothes.
-Keep down the humidity level inside the house by giving proper ventilation.
-Keep your surroundings clean and no water-logging to breed mosquitoes.
-Clean unnecessary plants from your garden even before monsoon.
-Clean any fungus on the wooden furnishings. This might trigger off allergies.
-Check for electric cables and broken wires in the neighbourhood and alert the authorities to avoid dangers.
-In addition, do not leave electric appliances plugged in.
-Do not use electric appliances or telephone during thunder and lightning.

I used to hate going to school during the rainy seasons. I knew I can compromise with the raincoat and the umbrellas but not with my wet shoes and socks which beget me an itchy feet. Salutations to the class teachers and principals who are unusually strict on the children reaching school on time and in full uniform.

I am glad those horrible times are over for me.

-Aparna KV

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