TNM reached out to doctors to speak about the health issues which are frequently seen during summer, and what steps you can take to protect yourself.

Malaria to conjunctivitis Here are infections you should watch out for this summer
Health Health Monday, February 25, 2019 - 16:34

As the summer season rolls in, it brings an end to infections like swine flu and dengue, but that doesn’t mean you can lower your guard since you may be confronted with a host of other problems. Malaria, chickenpox, conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye/’Madras’ eye) are all commonly seen during the summers.

TNM reached out to doctors to speak about the health issues which are frequently seen during summer, and what steps you can take to protect yourself against them.

Malaria

“Malaria is definitely something we see a lot of during the summers. Many of the cases that we have been seeing of late are just fevers. They are usually treated symptomatically and that will suffice, unless there is a significant underlying issue. This is what happens with malaria. We get a lot of people presenting with malaria during the summers,” explains Bengaluru District Health Officer (DHO).

He adds that an influx in malaria is largely seen due to the rise in temperatures and humid climate which may be contributing to the breeding of mosquitoes.

“Basic measures such as wearing protective clothing, using repellants, and fitting mosquito nets will be helpful. In addition, it’s always a good idea to not leave any standing water around as this too will cause breeding of mosquitos,” he says.

If anyone is presenting with fever that does not subside with supportive treatment and/or also has chills and rigours for more than a week, it is best to visit a doctor and get it examined. According to doctors, often people brush off fevers even when there is an indication that it could be due to an underlying problem.

Conjunctivitis/’Madras Eye’/Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, which is an infection of the conjunctiva of the eye (whites of the eyes) is also largely seen during the summer. This infection is particularly widespread among young children who touch their eyes after touching a potentially infected surface. It is also easily spread from one individual to another.

“People have to keep a few things in mind. If there is any itching, redness or discharge in their eye, they should get it checked. So, many people turn to natural remedies, but these might only aggravate the infection and should be avoided. Maintaining proper hygiene is an absolute must,” explains ophthalmologist Dr Kalpana Suresh of Kalpana Eye Care Hospital in Chennai. She further adds that if someone is found to have ‘Madras eye’ (as the infection is also called), and are prescribed eye drops, they should be careful not to touch the uninfected eye, as the infection will spread rapidly to it.

“Any eye drops given should also be used only at the time and then disposed of. People keep the eye drops even after the infection has subsided, but they don’t realise that these eye drops are not safe to use after the infection has cleared. There can be contaminants in them and they should be discarded after the infection is healed,” she adds.

Heat-related issues

Several climate and heat-related health problems ranging from dehydration to heat stroke, can also be seen.

“Take all basic precautions like drinking plenty of water, wearing protective clothing and sunscreen,” says Dr Leela Mohan, a general physician from Motherhood Hospital in Bengaluru’s Sarjapur area. “At least 3 to 4 litres of fluid intake should be there per day. Whether as juice, water, ORS, individuals should be drinking plenty of fluids to maintain normal temperature.”

He further adds that anyone who is experiencing sudden weakness, blackout episodes or moderate to severe headaches, may be showing symptoms of dehydration or heat stroke and may require proper medical attention.

“Those who are already having certain medical issues such as hypertension or diabetes, need to take extra care not to aggravate their condition,” he says. “Stay active, but avoid spending a lot of time under the sun, especially between 9 in the morning and around 4 to 5 in the evening. They should modify their lifestyles according to the weather, but should not cut out physical activity altogether.”

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.