Yesterday, monsoon played havoc in Mumbai. This happens every year. Every year, flooding also happens in various part of India. The intensity and the havoc that it plays is only going up due to climate change, rapid urbanization, increase in population, use of plastic that clog the crumbling dranage system and total political apathy, stealing of public funds and shameless lack of accountability. People suffer. We have to take care of ourselves as much as possible and right information is the only power that can help us a bit. Hence, I share here some recommendations that can save us and alleviate some of our suffering. I have copied this from else where since thought useful.
In view of yesterday’s monsoon-inflicted floods in Mumbai, please take a moment to learn about the below health hazards and ensure that you take the precautionary measures: 1)Diseases transmitted due to getting wet in rainwater & walking in floods/waterlogged areas are leptospirosis, hookworm infestations and fungal infection of feet. • Avoid walking barefoot and use rain footwear/gumboot • If you get drenched in rainwater, take a bath with warm water & soap, and scrub the lower limbs thoroughly on reaching home • After drying your body, sprinkle anti-fungal powder in web-spaces of both feet to prevent fungal infection. If you have sustained bruises, take a booster of tetanus toxoid, if not taken in the last five years • There is no need to take prophylactic dose of doxycycline to prevent leptospirosis. However, if anyone contracts fever (with or without shivering), aches or rashes in any part of body, pain behind the eyeballs in the next few weeks, then contact a physician immediately to rule out leptospirosis and other monsoon related diseases such as, malaria/dengue/flu/chickungunya 2) Diseases likely to increase due to consumption of contaminated food & drinking water are diarrhea, acute gastroenteritis (vomiting and loose motions), dysentery, worm infestations, typhoid and paratyphoid fever and Hepatitis A & E(jaundice). • Purify water used for drinking, cooking & preparation of salads, curds, chutneys etc., by using water purifier or by boiling the water in the below manner: o Once the water comes to a rolling boil, then boil the water for another 20 minutes. Avoid recontamination during cooling and storing the purified water. • Have hot cooked food (preferably immediately prepared). Avoid eating from roadside hawkers. Avoid eating undercooked shell fish. • Wash hands thoroughly with soap(anti bacterial soaps preferably) and water before and after preparing, serving or eating food, before feeding children and after cleaning them up post urination/defecation. If water is not available, sanitizer can be used. • Vegetables & fruits can be made disinfected by putting them in chlorine water for 10 minutes. o Chlorine water can be prepared by using chlorine tablets (Sumatab of Diversey Lever) • Vaccinate yourself & your family (children above 1 year) for Hepatitis A (2 injectable doses 6 months apart) and typhoid (single injectable dose & only 50% efficacy for 3 years) prevention • In case of worm infestation, ensure deworming of the whole family (children 2 years’ & above) and helpers with a single dose of Albendazole tablets/suspension. For children below two years, recommended dose is half bottle of the suspension. 3) Diseases likely to increase due to rise in the vector population (houseflies & mosquitoes) which transmits the disease to humans, threatening outbreaks of diarrheal diseases, malaria, filaria, dengue fever & chickungunya fever. The precautions for diarrheal diseases have been discussed above. In addition, • Cover and protect food properly from houseflies • Keep the kitchen, serving area and dining premises at home & offices meticulously clean (including spillages) with the use of sanitizers in optimum concentrations • Keep mosquitoes away by screening of windows, netting of beds, insecticide-coated perfumed mats, coils & vaporizer devices (best avoided in asthmatics), mosquito repellant creams (Odomos, Autan lotion) & electronic mosquito swaps. • Mosquitoes breed in clean water; hence, change water of flower vases/flowerpots daily. Alternately, if municipal authorities offer to spray residual insecticide on your premises, do co-operate with them. Let’s stay safe and healthy!