Getting ready to fight rainy day illnesses

May 04, 2020

WHILE everybody is preparing for the much-awaited shift of lockdown of Metro Manila from Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) on May 15, people may overlook or forget to up their defense for the rainy season.

Many fear that there might be a “second wave” of COVID-19 (people who recovered from the virus might become positive again) and rainy season could be the triggering factor.

While rainy days could bring relief from blistering heat of summer, the downside of wet season has certain dangers and diseases related to it.

The Department of Health has already warned beforehand that rainy season brings illnesses known as WILD -- Water-borne diseases, Influenza (could lead to severe flu and pneumonia), Leptospirosis, and Dengue.

As early as now, arm yourself with sufficient protection to prevent these rainy season illnesses from ocurring:

• Influenza. Commonly known as the flu, influenza is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system. It is transmitted through contact with an infected person, like when they sneeze or cough similar to how coronavirus infect one person to another.

To prevent flu, get your annual flu vaccine, avoid crowded places (when GCQ starts), minimize contact with infected persons, cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and wash hands frequently.

Remember, symptoms of flu are similar to pneumonia and COVID-19 and they will appear several days after contact. The severity of flu would depend on a person’s immune system at the onset of the illness.

• Dengue. Dengue is transmitted through the bite of an Aedes mosquito. Dengue fever mainly affects children and is potentially fatal.

Prevent Dengue by:

-- Cleaning the gutters so that rainwater will not turn into a breeding place of mosquitoes.

-- Cleaning out all water containers once a week, including flower vases, pots, and drums.

-- Throwing away unused bottles, jars and other items that can hold water.

• Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection acquired by humans from urine or feces of rats. A person may get leptospirosis when open wounds, broken skin, or when eyes, nose, mouth and sinuses, come in contact with contaminated water.

Prevent leptospirosis by:

-- Not wading in flood water.

-- Draining water that may be contaminated.

-- Keeping your surroundings clean.

-- Controling any rodents in the household with rat poison or traps.

• Hepatitis A. It is a virus that is usually transferred through the ingestion of food contaminated with urine or human waste of those already infected with Hepatitis A.

Prevent Hepatitis A by:

-- Washing hands thoroughly after using the toilet, before preparing food, and before meals.

-- Making sure to cook shellfish like crabs and clams thoroughly.

-- Practice safe handling and storage of food and water.

Start strengthening your body’s immunity against rainy day diseases with a daily multivitamin with zinc. It will activate more immunity cells that will help your body fight germs and viruses.