By Enyeribe Ejiogu
For the past few weeks, Nigeria has been pelted by rain. In the penultimate week, it fell for the whole week, leaving many parts of Lagos metropolis flooded. Some states experienced the havoc caused by flooding.
After the relatively long spell of uncomfortable dry weather, which made adults and children alike break out in heat rash, the coming of the rainy season was welcome by the majority of the people. The initial excitement has given way to anxiety as a gale of ailments associated with the rainy season begins to buffet children, teenagers and adults.
The fact is that the rainy season has the tendency to reduce the immunity of the body and expose it attack by a myriad of diseases commonly associated with the season. It triggers off a lot of health disorders. The most common illnesses are related to the respiratory system, water and food borne diseases, which require that utmost care be taken to avoid them or management adequately when they occur. Common rainy season illnesses include cough and catarrh, food-borne infection, water-borne infection and cholera.
Cough and catarrh
Catarrh is an ailment that usually results when the immune system reacts to an infection or irritation.
When this occurs, the immune system sends white blood cells (WBCs) to the source of the infection or irritation. The WBCs then release molecules that cause the mucous membranes to swell and produce mucus. As the infection progresses or the irritant is not eliminated, and the production of mucus continues, the person may begin to feel an urge to cough. The cough may either be dry or productive (that is produces phlegm).
Remedies for cold
The remedy for the situation is to Increase the intake of Vitamin C either in natural form or as food supplement. This will help you drive away the cold virus faster. Vitamin C will activate your antibodies and reduce the severity of the cold, undoubtedly.
Further, you should not enter air conditioned room with wet hair and damp cloths. In case you were caught and beaten by rain, please take a hot protect you from bath soon after you get home. Taking a bath would protect you from many infections. Increase intake of hot drinks like a cup of hot milk, tea tea and hot pepper soup. Taking hot tea or pepper soup would protect you from catching cold or save you from any kind of infection that can occur due to sudden change in the temperature of your body.
Drinking extra fluids will help make mucus light, drain your sinuses, and relieve a stuffy nose. Water, broth, and sports drinks are good choices. Hot herbal tea will also warm your airways, helping to relieve congestion.
Cleanliness is very important during rainy season. Even if you catch a cold, you should clean your hands regularly and use a sanitizer always after that. Very importantly, if you are showing symptoms of cold, please sneeze into a handkerchief or tissue paper, to avoid spreading the infection, especially in a closed space such as an office. Politely move away from somebody who has cold and sneezing decorum. You can also politely tell the person to sneeze into a handkerchief.
Drink plenty of warm water or tea with honey as this will help to drain toxins from your body. A pinch each of long pepper powder and rock salt mixed in warm water reduces cough.
Try a spoonful of honey to soothe your cough. It may work as well as a drugstore cough syrup. Don’t give honey to children who under one year, because it is not safe for them.
Also, vitamin C may cut down on how long your cold lasts and how bad you feel. And some studies show that probiotics may help prevent colds.
Food borne infection
Infection from foods has been known to increase during rainy season. Such infection can cause vomiting, dysentery and diarrhea. If it is possible, avoid eating out, especially if you are not too sure of the hygiene status of the facility. Even at home, meals should be prepared with full precaution and there is the added necessity to maintain health and hygiene throughout the house.
Therefore, wash all food materials thoroughly with clean water and cook very well and long enough to kill germs. You should drink boiled water that has cooled down appropriately, where it is not possibl to drink bottled water as a regular practice.
The rainy season is also a good reason to adopt Ayurvedic remedies such increasing the consumption of fresh ginger, which is either generously added to stews, rice, pap, taken as tea without sugar or milk.
Cook rice with crushed ginger and salt. Add pomegranate juice when the gruel is warm.
This gruel rehydrates the body, supplies energy and soothes inflamed walls of intestine and controls bowel movements.
Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. The bacterium is usually found in food or water contaminated by faeces from a person with the infection.
When a person consumes the contaminated food or water, the bacteria release a toxin in the intestines that produces severe diarrhea. It is not likely you will catch cholera just from casual contact with an infected person.
Cholera symptoms: Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection. Often, symptoms are mild. But sometimes they are very serious. About one in 20 people infected have severe watery diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration. Although many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms, they can still contribute to spread of the infection.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration include: rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity (the ability to return to original position quickly if pinched), dry mucous membranes, including the inside of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyelids; low blood pressure, thirst and muscle cramps. If not treated, dehydration can lead to shock and death in a matter of hours.