Rainy Season Warning: Four Common Diseases to Avoid

Photo credit: news.bbc.co.uk

We’re on the third quarter of the year and for Filipinos it signals the onset of rainy season. Apart from ongoing schooling and a few school openings, this period of the year also reminds us to take care of our health.

While people may get sick at any time of the year, transmission and acquisition of diseases are prevalent during rainy season. And the most alarming fact: students are very much vulnerable to any type of sickness.

In the current local education setting, it is ironic that students go to school during the rainy season, when cyclones and typhoons often batter the Philippines. This was one of the reasons why a few local universities began shift to international school calendar (September opening) and many proposed the same thing to all of local schools.

Take Care of Yourself

As always, the Department of Health is quick to warn the public against four diseases with high number of cases during rainy season in recent years.

Get to know these health threats and the ways to avoid them.

  • Flu

It is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It transfers from an infected person to another through coughing and sneezing. Physical contacts (e.g., handshake) can also spread the virus.

What should you do to avoid it? While getting flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against flu, you can do other healthy yet simple routines: wash your hands often, do not make close contact with sick people, and practice personal hygiene and other good health routines.

  • Leptospirosis

It is an infectious bacterial disease caused when urine-contaminated environment (e.g., water, soil, etc.) gains entry to one’s skin and mucous membranes. If left untreated, the disease can lead to one or many more serious illness and even death.

What should you do to avoid it? Do not wade in floodwaters or if you don’t have no other choice but to do it, wear protective gear (e.g., clothing, footwear).

  • Waterborne Infections

These are any illness caused by pathogenic microorganisms (e.g., human or animal feces, other fecal material), which contaminated the fresh water, often drinking water. These diseases include cholera, diarrhea, typhoid fever, dysentery, malaria, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis.

What should you do to avoid it? Drink safe potable water, wash your hands often, wash raw foods before cooking them, and do not consume raw foods from roadside.

  • Dengue

It is a mosquito-borne disease affecting tropical areas, such as the Philippines and all of Southeast Asian countries. Its symptoms are mild and often mistaken for a flu. This illness can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever.

What should you do to avoid it? Stay away from area where dengue is common, protect your skin by applying mosquito repellent, and destroy mosquito habitat.

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