Monsoon fever can be deceptive and dangerous

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Any medication should be taken only in consultation with a specialist

New Delhi, 30 July 2018: The number of those with fever and other associated conditions increases during monsoons in India, indicate statistics. However, in this season, any episode of fever should not be taken lightly as there may be many diseases responsible, the commonest being viral, malaria, dengue, or Chikungunya. Awareness need to be created on identifying the warning signals and getting expert help at the earliest to avoid comorbidities.

With the monsoon, varsharitu starts in India. In Ayurveda, it is the time for aggravation of Vata or the movement functions in the body. While this is a time to rejoice, it is also imperative to take certain precautions, especially in children, failing which they can become susceptible to a host of diseases and infections.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “While one should not ignore persistent fever during monsoons, it is also important to not indulge in self-diagnosis. Fever can be an indication of various conditions and monsoon fever, in particular, can be deceptive. Viral fever is associated with cough, redness of the eyes or nasal discharge. Dengue is accompanied by fever with rash and pain in eye movement. Chikungunya is a triad of fever, rash, and joint pain. Typically, the joint pain increases on compression of the joint. Malarial fever comes with chills and rigors and will have a normal phase in between two episodes of fever. Fever in jaundice disappears after the onset of the condition. Lastly, typhoid fever is often continuous with a relatively low pulse rate and with toxic feeling.”

Many of the diseases in this season occur due to water stagnation and resultant breeding of mosquitoes. Contamination of drinking water is also common. It is important to drink clean and pure water to prevent diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “There is no need to consume antibiotics unless there is a feeling of toxemia. Antibiotics in cases of sore throat are only required if associated with pain in the throat while swallowing food or red angry–looking tonsils. Except for paracetamol or nimesulide, other anti-fever medicines should not be used indiscriminately as they can reduce a person’s platelet count. Most diseases in this season are self-limiting and can take 4 to 7 days to resolve. The basic precaution involves proper hydration, especially on the days when fever is subsiding.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Eat light food as the GI system of the body cannot digest heavy food.
  • Do not eat leafy vegetables without washing or boiling as they may be contaminated with eggs of round worms. Beware of eating snacks at some outside stall.
  • Beware of electrical deaths in this season as the coolers without earthing can leak electricity.
  • Do not walk barefooted as most worms can come out and cause the infection. Do not keep wet clothes and leather without proper drying them as they may attract fungus.
  • With each shower of rain, the BP may fluctuate so medications must be revisited.
  • Do not play in stagnant water as rat urine mixed with rain water may produce lactosyrosis (fever with jaundice)
  • Do not let water accumulate in the house or surrounding areas. Drink only boiled or safe water as there are more chances of diarrhea, jaundice, and typhoid in this season.

Drought followed by rainfall can provide optimum conditions for dengue outbreak

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India being dengue-endemic should include disease prevention strategies as part of its plans to combat the condition

New Delhi, 21 July 2018: A global consortium of researchers has developed an early warning system to alert authorities on the Caribbean island of Barbados when a dengue outbreak is likely to strike. The study has shown that a period of drought, followed by intense rainfall for 4 to 5 months, provides the optimum conditions for disease outbreak.

People are more likely to leave water containers outside their homes after a spell of drought. When a period of intense rainfall follows, these containers become the source for water to collect and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President HCFI, said, “People tend to store water in containers during periods of drought. This provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, which lay their eggs in pools of standing water. There is a need to shift emphasis toward more proactive disease prevention strategies that do not rely as strongly on responding to detected cases alone. Many parts of India too face drought-like conditions and people store water in several containers to meet their needs. And when the first rains come after periods of bright sunshine and scorching summers, some people like to keep containers or vessels outside to collect the first rainwater. Our roofs and verandahs or open spaces around the houses already are dumping grounds for old tyres, discarded drums, cans, utensils, etc. The mosquitoes, Aedes specifically, therefore have ample breeding sites. India is a dengue-endemic country and therefore, these habits need to change. One must learn to keep only what is required and discard what is not.”

Jainism calls the act of letting go as aparigraha, one of the five great vows (maha-vratas). Aparigraha is also one of the five Yamas described in Patanjali Yoga Sutras. The others are ahimsa, satya, asteya, and brahmacharya.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Needs often become synonymous with desires. Aparigrahacan help us separate the two. We clean our houses customarily during the festival of Diwali. This is also the time when we dispose of all the unwanted items by giving them away. A similar Diwali-like cleaning houses can be done before the onset of monsoons to remove or dispose of all the discarded old containers etc. in which water can collect and become breeding grounds for the mosquitoes.”

Some tips from HCFI

Few other points to be considered include the following.

  • A community approach means that 100% of the society talks about dengue. Every premise must indicate that it is mosquito free. When you are invited to someone’s house, you should ask “I hope your premises are mosquito free”. When you invite, write, “welcome to my house, it is mosquito free”.
  • The idea of checking your house once a week needs a change. One needs to be alert every day. It should be a part of your routine. You do not clean your premises once a week. Make it a habit to look for the breeding places.

Predicting a dengue outbreak and practicing aparigrah

Health Care Comments Off

A global consortium of researchers has developed an early warning system to alert authorities on the Caribbean island of Barbados when a dengue outbreak is likely to strike. The study, published July 17, 2018 in the journal PLos Medicine, has shown that a period of drought, followed by intense rainfall 4 to 5 months later provides the optimum conditions for disease outbreak.

A dengue epidemic was most likely to occur five months after a drought. And, if rainfall follows the drought period, the chance of dengue outbreak increase. The researchers believe that after a drought people are more likely to leave water containers out. So, next time there is a period of intense rainfall, there are more places for water to collect and therefore more breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

According to the researchers, people tend to store water in containers during periods of drought, providing an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, which lay their eggs in pools of standing water.

Many parts of India too face drought-like conditions and people store water in several containers to meet their needs. And when the first rains come after periods of bright sunshine and scorching summers, some people like to keep containers or vessels outside to collect the first rainwater.

Our roofs and verandahs or open spaces around the houses already are dumping grounds for old tyres, discarded drums, cans, utensils, etc. The mosquitoes, Aedes specifically, therefore have ample breeding sites.

India being a dengue-endemic country, these habits need to change.

One must learn to keep only what is required and discard what is not.

Jainism calls this “aparigraha”, one of the five great vows (maha-vratas) of Jainism. “Parigraha” means possessiveness, grasping or greediness. The opposite of “parigrah” is “aparigraha” or non-possession or non-attachment, which means one should not keep anything more than what is necessary.

Aparigraha is also one of the five Yamas described in Patanjali Yoga Sutras. The others being ahimsa, satya, asteya and brahmacharya.

The first verse of Isha Upanishad says

ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् । तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम् ॥

īśāvāsyamidaṃ sarvaṃ yatkiñca jagatyāṃ jagat | tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gṛdhaḥ kasyasviddhanam ||

‘Whatever there is changeful in this ephemeral world, all that must be enveloped by the Lord. By this renunciation, support yourself. Do not covet the wealth of anyone.’

Needs often become synonym with desires. Aparigraha helps us to separate the two.

It is customary to clean our houses for the festival of Diwali. This is also the time when we dispose of all the unwanted items lying in the house or give it away. A similar Diwali-like cleaning of houses can be customarily done before the onset of monsoons to remove or dispose of all the discarded old containers etc. in which water can collect and become breeding grounds for the mosquitoes.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

Vice President CMAAO

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA

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