What diseases affect children in rainy seasons?

Dear Doctor,

What infections are likely to affect children in the rainy season? Danson

Dear Danson,

The rainy season brings in greenery and a pleasant weather. But it brings a lot of sickness as well. Children are particularly vulnerable, as they have a developing immune system, which is yet not so strong.

Common cold, which is a viral infection is the most common infection, occurring during rainy season. It occurs through droplet infection, The virus is expelled through sneezing, coughing by an infected person and inhaled by a person close to him. The occurrence of sickness depends on load of virus inhaled and resistance of the individual to the infection. Running of nose, sneezing, blocked nose, headache, fever, are the common symptoms. Sore throats and other upper respiratory tract infections also occur commonly in children in such weather, due to high incidence of cross infection among them. The child suffers from pain in throat, while speaking or swallowing, headache, fever, cough dry or with expectoration, e.t.c one or more of these symptoms. Prevention lies in keeping children away from an infected person, keep them away from direct exposure to cigarette smoke, teach them to cover mouth while coughing, use disposable tissues to wipe nose. It is also important to keep the house dust free and items lik
e toys, telephones, pens, e.t.c. clean, otherwise they can also carry germs.Steam inhalation is helpful. Antibiotics should be used, where absolutely necessary and if there is clear indication of a bacterial infection.

Children prone to bronchial asthma or allergic rhinitis or bronchitis, can have their sickness precipitated or aggravated.

The incidence of food and water borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, salmonellosis, other diarrhoeal diseases is also increased during rains. This happens because the water bodies gets contaminated by microbes present in the fecal matter or other waste lying on the sides. This is washed by the rain inside the water body and water is consumed by people. Diarrhoela diseases can be prevented by good food hygiene and environmental cleanliness. Kids should be taught not to eat anything raw without washing it adequately.

Collection of water in cess pools provides a place for mosquitoes to multiply. This becomes the cause for increase in malaria during rains. Children under 5 are more vulnerable to severe forms of malaria which rapidly progress to death. They suffer more from complications, such as low blood sugar(hypoglycemia and also cerebral malaria.). Avoiding stagnant water around houses, using insect repellants and insecticide coated mosquito nets helps in preventing malaria.