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Beware of these ‘summer diseases’! Part - 2

With the summer heat on the constant rise, there is a greater chance that infections and diseases are more likely to occur. As important as it is to sit back and enjoy the sunny days, it is also equally important to adopt certain precautions which will help keep problems at bay. Most number of diseases that are spread during summer is through the consumption of contaminated food and water and one must be aware of them. Given below are some of the food and water borne diseases that one may fall prey to during summer-

  1. Cholera- Though cholera is a water-related disease, it is mostly spread the consumption of unsafe water and food that may be contaminated with human feces containing the Vibrio cholerae bacterium. Cholera is also diarrhoeal in nature and can cause severe dehydration which can sometimes kill if the person is left unattended. Some of the prominent symptoms of cholera include severe vomiting, sunken eyes and bluish skin.

  2. Diarrhoea - Diarrhoeal infection is spread through the consumption of contaminated food and drinking water. The symptoms of diarrhoea includes discharge of watery stools 3 or more times a day. Diarrhoea occurs when the lining of the intestine is unable to absorb enough fluid which is then actively secreted. Some of the symptoms of diarrhoea include painful abdominal cramps, fever and nausea. A diarrhoeal attack can last up to 2 weeks and can leave the person completely dehydrated.

  3. Hepatitis A - Hepatitis A is a viral disease which is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated food and water. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus and may also be transmitted through the direct contact with an infectious person who is already suffering from Hepatitis A. The advent of the illness may last anywhere between a few weeks to some months. Some of the symptoms of Hepatitis A include jaundice, loss of appetite, fever and fatigue.

  4. Typhoid - Typhoid is an infection which is caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium. Typhoid is spread when an individual consumes contaminated food and water and also spreads when an individual comes in close contact with someone who is already infected. A typhoidal attack can last anywhere between 7 to 14 days. Some of the prominent symptoms of typhoid include fluctuating high fever, exhaustion, sleepiness and diarrhoea.

  5. Food Poisoning - Food poisoning is caused by the consumption of contaminated food. Toxins which includes various bacteria, viruses and parasites are some of the causal factors of food poisoning. Food poisoning generally starts within hours of eating the contaminated food and the effects may last for a few hours to several days. Some of the symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain or cramps.

Ways to prevent foodborne diseases-

  • Ensure that the food is cooked properly.

  • Consume the food immediately after cooking or while it is hot. It is always safer to eat food that is prepared at home rather than risking the consumption of outside food.

  • Refrigerate any leftover food after a meal and re-heat it before consuming it again.

  • Make sure that you wash your hands properly before and after the food preparation. Also, ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly before eating.

  • Avoid preparing food in case you are sick as there is a high possibility that the germs may be transmitted through the food and may make another fall sick.

  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Avoid drinking water and other iced beverages from open stalls and from dirty places.

  • Include a number of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Make sure that you wash and peel the fruits and vegetables before consuming them.


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