The monsoon or rainy season can offer particular challenges to your health, so we have some tips that can help you keep healthy during this season.
What is the Monsoon?
The monsoon/rainy season is a seasonal shift in weather patterns, bringing warm, damp air from the sea over land, which creates high periods of rainfall for a sustained period. The Southwest Monsoon usually arrives from late May to September, and the Northeast Monsoon usually arrives from November to March with widespread torrential rain. Heavy rains and thunderstorms mark the arrival of the rainy season/monsoon.
How does the monsoon impact health?
The health challenges created by the monsoon/rainy season are usually connected with the impact of having lots of stagnant water present, which makes it easy for mosquitoes to breed and potentially spread malaria and dengue fever.
Because of the increase of stagnant water present in the environment there is a marked increase in food poisoning and gastro intestinal ailments, as well as an increase in coughs, colds, and flu during the season.
Other issues include fungal infections and athletes foot, and, if you suffer from asthma, the excess water in the environment and warm air can promote dampness and the growth of fungus on walls which can aggravate the condition.
How do I stay Healthy during the Monsoon?
Keep mosquitoes at bay:
- Use plenty of mosquito repellent, and reapply frequently
- Use coils/devices to keep mosquitoes out of your environment
- Sleep under a mosquito net
- Invert unused containers, coolers, vases, etc. so they don’t collect stagnant water and act as a place for mosquitoes to breed
Take extra care with food and drink:
- Eat well-cooked food: it may be worthwhile to avoid raw foods and salads, unless you can guarantee that they have been washed in clean running water, or a sanitising solution, to kill any harmful bacteria
- Avoid street food during this time, as there is a greater potential for them to contain harmful bacteria
- Keep yourself well hydrated with clean and safe drinking water, as you are more likely to be dehydrated during the season.
Keep yourself clean and dry:
- Carry an umbrella and suitable clothing to keep dry in wet conditions.
- Avoid walking in puddles or getting your feet wet. This can cause fungal infections in the feet and toenails
- Keep yourself dry and avoid getting splashed with dirty, stagnant water as it may contain harmful bacteria
- Practice good hand hygiene, remembering to clean hands thoroughly with soap after using the toilet and before preparing and eating food. This is important every day, but is particularly helpful during the monsoon to combat the spread of viruses and bacteria
- Wash regularly, and if you do get wet, then clean yourself with soap and dry yourself thoroughly with a clean dry towel, getting in between the toes and any creases on the body. Using talcum powder can help to ensure you are totally dry to prevent any fungal infections developing
- Dettol soaps and body washes can help as they kill bacteria. When bathing in water, you can add an antiseptic liquid to the bathing water to kill any harmful bacteria in the water. This is especially useful if bathing in stored water. Always use as instructed
Keep your home clean and hygienic:
- Avoid contact with damp walls, as these can be a breeding ground for moulds and other fungus
- Regularly disinfect surfaces in your home, particularly those areas that come in contact with food, as well as damp areas such as bathrooms, where excess moisture in the air can give rise to mould & mildew.