Sunday December 04, 2022

Population at risk of contracting infections during monsoon

July 15, 2022

Rawalpindi : Repeated spells of heavy rainfall in this region of the country causing water inundation in a number of localities in town pose serious health threats to public as it may cause spread of serious infections including cholera, typhoid, dysentery, gastroenteritis, hepatitis A & E, shigellosis and giardiasis, an infection in the small intestine.

The spells of rainfall are causing water inundation inside and outside homes repeatedly in many localities in town particularly in thickly populated and low-lying areas. The water inundation contaminates water sources and increases the chances of spread of various infections.

According to health experts, collection of heavily contaminated water in streets and houses due to heavy rainfall and the waste water flooding out of various nullahs including Nullah Leh in town may carry Salmonella bacteria that causes Salmonella food poisoning and may develop diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps.

Shigellosis, also known as bacillary dysentery is caused by bacteria Shigella that is frequently found in water polluted with human feces. Shigella infection occurs through ingestion, fecal–oral contamination. Studies reveal that fewer than 100 bacterial cells can be enough to cause an infection and dysentery that may result in destruction of the epithelial cells of the intestinal mucosa.

Experts say that the rainfalls and water inundation cause water-borne infections and increase the chances of incidences of vector-borne diseases including malaria and dengue fever along with food-borne infections.

Head of Department of Infectious Diseases at Holy Family Hospital Dr. Muhammad Mujeeb Khan believes that the most important thing to avoid infections at the time is to take extraordinary preventive measures. It is time for individuals to take preventive measures against water and food-borne infection along with vector borne infections, he said. People must keep their living space clean to avoid infections and should give extraordinary attention to the hygiene of kitchens which must be in ideal hygienic conditions throughout the year, he said.

Health experts say that lack of awareness among public about causes of spread of a number of monsoon related infections makes situation worse every year in monsoon. The best message needed to be given to public is that good hygienic conditions can safeguard one from infections mainly caused by contaminated water and foodstuff.

Heavy rainfall and water accumulation may contaminate water at sources increasing the chances of contamination of water at tube wells and supply lines but by using drinking water after boiling, individuals can avoid health hazards. Experts say that water accumulated inside homes due to heavy rainfall and flooding out of water from sewage lines must be wiped out immediately and the space should be washed with clean water as soon as possible to avoid infections.

Studies reveal that the consumption of contaminated water and foodstuff may cause cholera, an infection in the small intestine caused by bacterium vibrio cholera. Its main symptoms are watery diarrhoea and vomiting that can lead to rapid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, and death in some cases.