Health

10 summer illnesses and how to avoid them

Reading Time: 5 minutes
HannahWells / Pixabay

HannahWells / Pixabay

While we are battling drought, heat waves and heat strokes this summer, we must not forget the diseases that intrude our households this time of the season every year.

Here are 10 common summer illnesses and the remedies recommended by the experts.

1. Typhoid

Caused due to Salmonella typhi, this bacterial infection is spread via consuming food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person.

The symptoms are high fever, weakness, abdominal pain, constipation and headache. The disease is cured usually within three weeks. But it might take a shorter or longer period depending on the severity.

How to avoid

Use proper sanitation, wash hands before eating, don’t drink water or food from unhygienic sources. Get vaccinated.

2. Mumps

Also called epidemic parotitis, this viral disease is caused by the mumps virus.

Initial symptoms are fever, muscle pain, headache and dizziness, followed by painful swelling of one or both parotid glands.

It is highly contagious and is transmitted via respiratory droplets, including sneeze, cough and drip, or saliva or direct contact with an infected person. It takes 7-10 days to be cured.

How to avoid

Don’t share utensils. Wash hands before eating. Regularly clean surfaces that are touched the most like toys, doorknobs, tables and counter-tops. Get vaccinated.

3. Jaundice

Also known as Hepatitis A, jaundice is caused by high blood bilirubin levels.

The disease develops due to the consumption of unhygienic water and food items.

Common symptoms are yellowing of skin and eyes, dark urine, light stool, anorexia and weight loss. It takes a minimum of 12-15 days to recover if it is a normal jaundice.

How to avoid

Drink boiled water and eat less spicy, easy-to-digest food. Curb alcohol.

4. Headache

In summer we suffer from headaches more than usual due to long exposures to the sun rays, dehydration, over-exhaustion and lack of sleep.

How to avoid

Instead of popping in pills, we should take precautions like drinking a lot of water, staying protected from the sun and eating light, small meals at regular intervals.

5. Skin rashes

The hot and humid weather, excessive sweating, ill-ventilated clothes cause itchiness, dryness and redness of the skin. Skin rashes are very common in summer.

How to avoid

Maintain basic hygiene and use a good prickly heat powder to get some relief. Avoid the sun between 10 am to 4 pm.

6. Back pain/Body pain

Back pain and/or body pain increases in summer, especially those who spend long hours in air-conditioned rooms or is up on their heels the entire day without any break.

How to avoid

Take 5 minute rest every 30 minutes. Put the AC in a decent 26 degree mode. Swimming works wonders as a water therapy. Yoga is also beneficial.

7. Cough

Cough is not an exclusive winter disease. In summers, we can’t do without cold water or drinks, straight from the refrigerator. And that is the main cause behind that cough during this season.

How to avoid

Instead of chilling water, drink cold water mixed with normal water.

Don’t gulp down water or put on the AC as soon as you enter the house from the scorching heat. A few tulsi (basil) leaves with honey in empty stomach every morning is a good cough reliever. Try homeopathic remedies.

8. Flu

Flu is as common in winter as in summer.

Mostly attributed to excessive oily food and too many “cold” drinks, the initial symptoms are feeling feverish, cough, sore throat, running/blocked nose, headache and body ache. It generally takes 7-10 days to heal completely.

How to avoid

Those infected, please don’t leave the house until fully recovered. Or else, you will end up infecting quite a few others. Cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing. Wash hands before eating. Get vaccinated.

9. Chickenpox

This highly contagious disease is spread by varicella zoster virus.

This virus grows in wet areas, so make sure the water tanks and garden areas are clean and sprayed regularly.

Initial symptoms are small, itchy blisters, fever, feeling tired, and headache. It takes around 10 days to recover after the symptoms first appear.

How to avoid

Like flu, stay indoors till you fully recover. Don’t scratch the blisters. The fluid inside is enough to spread the infection.

For those not patient, don’t share utensils, soaps, towel or food with the affected.

10.Measles

This is another highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus. Mostly children are affected by this disease.

Initial symptoms are fever (higher than 104.0 °F), cough, runny nose and inflamed eyes. This airborne disease is spread via coughs and sneezes of infected people. It takes around 7 to 10 days to recover.

How to avoid

The only way out is to get vaccinated.

Having all said and done, it is basically those with weak immune system who fall pray to such diseases.

Building up strong immunity is not that hard.

Just quit smoking and alcohol, include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your plate and get a diet that is low in saturated fat, work out daily, stay happy and maintain a healthy weight.

Big Wire

Sreya Basu

Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.

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