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Flood Borne Diseases: Symptoms To Watch Out For

Flood water causes two main types of diseases namely food and water-borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery and leptospirosis, and insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. Watch out for the symptoms.

Flood Borne Diseases: Symptoms To Watch Out For

Flood waters seem to pose a variety of health hazards and infectious diseases.

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Many skin problems such as eczema can spread through infection
  2. Malaria and typhoid fever can spread due to stagnant water
  3. Practicing good hygiene is important during floods

Flood waters and stagnant water seem to pose a variety of health hazards and infectious diseases. Practicing good hygiene during floods like washing your hands regularly and clean cooking techniques will help reduce your risk of ill health. Flood water causes two main types of diseases namely food and water-borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery and leptospirosis, and insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. It's necessary to get your vaccination done as outbreak of hepatitis A may become more common after flooding. Many skin problems such as eczema can spread easily through infection.

Infections in the ear canal can also increase if contaminated water enters the ear canal and is not drained immediately. Eye infections, such as conjunctivitis, are more common following flooding. Diseases like Malaria and typhoid fever can also spread due to stagnant water. According to WHO, "Floods may indirectly lead to an increase in vector borne diseases through the expansion in the number and range of vector habitats."

Here a few symptoms of flood borne diseases you need to be wary of:


1. Dysentery

Dysentery is an intestinal infection that causes severe diarrhea with blood. In some cases, mucus may be found in the stool. This usually lasts for 3 to 7 days.

Symptoms

  • abdominal cramps or pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
  • dehydration, which can become life-threatening if left untreated
     

2. Cholera

Cholera is an acute infectious disease caused by Vibrio cholerae bacteria. The disease is transmitted through contaminated water and food. The biggest risk in this disease is when the patient gets dehydrated.

Symptoms

  • Mild fever
  • Body ache
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Excessive thirst
  • Headaches
  • Loss of elasticity of the skin


3. Dengue fever

Fever along with rashes and muscle aches are the common symptoms of dengue.

Symptoms

  • Fever, with a sudden onset, often rising to 40-40.5 degrees centigrade.
  • Rash, which shows up 3-4 days after the start of the symptoms, starting from the trunk region and spreading to the face, arms and legs.
  • Muscle aches (myalgia)
  • Joint aches (arthralgia).
  • Headache

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4. Conjunctivitis

One of the most common infections monsoon brings along is Conjunctivitis which is also known as the Pink Eye. Conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva, which is the layer outside the cornea surrounding the white area of the eye called the sclera.

Symptoms
  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased amount of tears
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep
  • Green or white discharge from the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light


5. Malaria

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

Symptoms

The first symptoms like fever, headache, and chills may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, it can progress to severe illness, often leading to death. Other symptoms may include:

  • profuse sweating
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • anemia
  • muscle pain
  • bloody stools

Apart from this, acute pain in the infected area, discharge from the ears, dizziness, headaches along with ear pain, throat pain and soreness are some of the health problems to be taken care of.

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