Mangoes everywhere! Is that what summer is for you? Festooning the trees with mangoes is perhaps summer’s way of apologising to you for the unbearable heat and humidity that the season brings. Mangoes, raw and ripe, enter your kitchen to exit as Amrakhand or Mamida pandu pulusu or mambazha pulisheri or mango kulfi.
Your stomach has enough reasons to be happy this summer. But there are disease causing microbes which are happier to work overtime in this season, too.
Depending on the cause, there are different types of jaundice. The jaundice common in summer is caused by Hepatitis A virus. It is transmitted through faeco-oral route (a person without the disease consumes food or water that has been contaminated with the faeces of an infected person.) This occurs when you eat food or drink water from unhygienic places or cooked by infected people – so watch where you eat!
According to WHO media center, symptoms of Hepatitis A infection can range from mild to severe, and can include fever, malaise, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark-coloured urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Importantly, not everyone who is infected will have all of the symptoms.
This particular type of Jaundice is not fatal. Most patients recover when timely treatment is given.
Typhoid is caused by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi. This is also a waterborne disease and is transmitted through faeco-oral route.
Symptoms of typhoid are high fever, weakness, stomach pains, headaches, loss of appetite, diarrhoea or constipation. Some patients will develop a flat red coloured rash on their neck, chest and abdomen.
If left untreated Typhoid can be fatal.
Summer diarrhoea can be caused by bacteria, virus or parasites. It can also be concomitant of Typhoid fever and many other infectious diseases. It spreads through contaminated food and water.
According to WHO media center, it is primarily a symptom of gastrointestinal infection. Depending on the type of infection, the diarrhoea may be watery (for example in cholera) or passed with blood (in dysentery for example).
Timely intervention and treatment are important as there is a continuous loss of fluids from the body. Severe dehydration can become lethal.
So how can you ensure you don’t fall sick? Here are some tips:
Avoid street food and water that may not be filtered/boiled.
When eating out, choose to eat thoroughly cooked, piping hot food
Avoid cut fruits and vegetables from open shops
If you suspect the fruits to be artificially ripened, do not eat them
Avoid ice in your drinks if you are not sure of the water source
Avoid ice lollies and ice creams as well, if the water source is not known
Always drink clean and purified water
Practice good personal hygiene
Wash your hands with soap and water before eating food and after using the bathroom
Avoid direct contact with people who are sick
Take the necessary vaccines to keep you protected
If you do fall sick, ensure you don’t self-medicate. Do visit a doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment. And remember to stay hydrated!