Lack of personal hygiene, cause for spread of infectious disease?

HEALTH HAZARD: Garbage dumped near Police Housing Colony at Goripalayam in Madurai. Photo: K.Ganesan.

HEALTH HAZARD: Garbage dumped near Police Housing Colony at Goripalayam in Madurai. Photo: K.Ganesan.  

Staff Reporter

Or, is it due to weather conditions, alternating between cold, hot temperatures?

MADURAI: Serpentine queues at hospitals are not uncommon nowadays with the number of people having viral fever and respiratory infection on the rise.

When people are limping back to normality after the `chickungunya effect,' there has been no let-off for them as many in the city have started reporting high temperature associated with fatigue and running nose.

The cause for this situation has been attributed to adverse weather conditions, alternating between cold and hot temperatures. However, medical professionals blame it on the lack of knowledge of personal hygiene as well as lack of awareness of maintaining hygiene in the neighbourhood.

A. Sethuraman, a medical practitioner, said, "People have failed to maintain personal hygiene.

They have not taken cognisance of the practices followed by our ancestors. Our elders called it `thirikadugam' (a mixture of dry ginger, thippili, a medicinal food material, and pepper).

They consumed this mixture along with honey in empty stomach. This practice helped them to stay healthy."

"It is also because of the cross-country infection. With people moving from one place to another, there is a possibility of them contracting diseases prevalent in that particular region.

If this has to be stopped, people have to go back to their old practices and boost their immune power to fight infections," Dr. Sethuraman cautioned.

The problem gets compounded because of poor hygiene in the surroundings. G. Ramesh, a businessman residing at Iyer Bungalow, said, "Even people with sufficient knowledge of clean environment dump garbage near their residences.

Some of them go one step further by throwing the garbage into the vacant site in the neighbourhood, which spells doom for them.

Worse still is to burn garbage. The blame is on the part of the local body in charge of the cleaning operations.

Its staff are not regular, which prompts individuals to resort to such practices, as they cannot store the garbage for more than two days."

S. Jeevanandam, president, Kannanendal panchayat, said, "We pay more attention to clear the garbage on the streets.

Of course, there may be some aberrations in the attendance of sanitary staff, which will be sorted out soon. Steps have been initiated to clear the garbage."

Many do accept the fact that lack of hygiene is the main cause for the spread of such infectious diseases.

They are willing to pay heed to the methods that will prevent diseases.

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