Timely treatment will keep infections at bay, says expert

The intermittent rain since last month has resulted in increased incidences of common cold and fever. While children are easily susceptible to cold and fever even the adults are not spared. Hospitals and clinics are seeing more cases of infections, and the incidences are higher in areas which are more congested and lack in sanitation.

Doctors say that every year during monsoon more cases of fevers and infections are reported. According to N. Rajeshwari, head of Paediatrics, Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Pallikaranai, more children are being treated for infections of lower respiratory tract and upper airway, diarrhoea and typhoid.

“We have seen a rise in the outpatients. Stagnation of water, sewage contamination of groundwater” and the change in the weather are contributing factors, she adds.

Children should be confined to indoors and it is better to avoid sending them to schools or day care centres to prevent spread of the infection, says Dr. Rajeshwari. She also advises against eating food from hotels.

Ever since the monsoon began, more patients are being referred to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) from other hospitals for treatment of Hepatitis A and E infections, says K. Narayanaswami, head of Hepatology department.

Contaminated water and food result in infections such as Hepatitis A and E and cause inflammation of liver. While contamination of drinking water is a common complaint during monsoon, simple measures such as boiling the water before drinking it and eating food immediately after cooking will prevent spread of infection, says Dr. Narayanaswami.

“During monsoon, water and even cooked food could become contaminated. Cold food is conducive to growth of bacteria and micro organism. Often people do not clean the vegetables before cooking. When vegetables are not cleaned properly or are used without washing, the bacteria and the micro-organisms in these food items will enter the intestine and reach the liver.” Common infectious diseases that spread through this route include diarrhoea, typhoid, jaundice and cholera.

Director of Public Health R. T. Porkai Pandian says fevers are common during monsoon and it is necessary to undergo the necessary tests to ensure that correct and timely treatment is provided. “Washing hands before eating and after using the toilet will prevent 90 per cent of water borne diseases. Ask to be served hot water and hot food in hotels to prevent catching an infection,” he advises.

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