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Challenges in COVID-19 era in Management of Monsoon Related Diseases

In any infectious and monsoon related diseases, fever is the most common symptom. In the current COVID-19 scenario, diagnosis for fever will always be a challenge with the whole focus on coronavirus. A test for COVID-19 may be ordered for every fever case thus leading to a waste of precious resources and time. Additionally, the investigations and treatment of other treatable diseases like malaria, typhoid, or gastroenteritis may also get delayed.

Some of the cases of gastroenteritis, typhoid, leptospirosis, dengue, and malaria may need hospital admission but may be difficult due to the paucity of general and ICU beds.

Mosquito control remains the most important public health measure to prevent Malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses. As per World Health Organization (WHO) study, the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone undermined malaria control efforts and led to a massive increase in malaria-related illness and death in these countries.

Due to this experience of the Ebola outbreak in Malaria-endemic regions, WHO strongly encourages countries not to suspend the planning for or implementation of mosquito control activities, while ensuring these services are delivered using best practices to protect health workers and communities from COVID-19 infection. India has been historically known for Malaria Endemic and should continue to build awareness and implement precaution measures for Malaria.

Prevention of Monsoon Related Diseases

In view of all the above, it is of utmost importance that people should take precautions as follows:

  • Avoid getting drenched in the rain and always carry an umbrella or rainwear
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating or touching your face, nose, and eyes
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Drink water either boiled or from a water purifier
  • Avoid eating out especially raw food items, salads, and fruits
  • Wash fruits, salads, and vegetables thoroughly at home
  • Eat homemade freshly cooked food
  • Cover food items to prevent contamination from houseflies
  • While going out, carry a water bottle from home
  • Avoid getting in floodwater. If it is inevitable, use suitable foot water. Cover any cuts or wounds that you may have. If you happen to walk in floodwater, take bath after coming home and wash the exposed part thoroughly with soap and water. Consult your doctor for taking medicines for prevention of leptospirosis
  • Take care to prevent the formation of stagnant water or puddles in or near your home and workplace as far as possible. Also cover overhead tanks in your building
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites by measures such as wearing long-sleeved clothes, use of mosquito nets and repellents
  • Maintain good personal hygiene
  • Healthy lifestyle measures such as eating a balanced nutritious diet, adequate sleep; adequate water intake, regular exercise, avoiding smoking/tobacco/alcohol, practicing meditation and relaxation techniques, and controlling stress will boost your natural immunity and help you to protect yourselves and your loved ones from various infections.