When monsoon season arrives, people often worry about mosquitoes that cause dengue and malaria, along with water-borne diseases that cause typhoid and cholera. However, the monsoon rains also increase our chances of getting a cold or catching the flu. All these airborne diseases cause minor infections in adults but can be dangerous to young children or the elderly with underlying health conditions. 

Most of these diseases cause fevers or elevated temperatures. To treat a cold or flu properly, it is important to check one’s temperature. It is important to understand that checking one’s temperature once a day is insufficient. It is because our body temperature is often 0,9 oC higher in the evening than it is in the morning. This is perfectly normal. However, this does mean that a temperature that appears normal in the morning has turned into a fever at night.

When checking one’s temperature, it is very important to use the correct type of thermometer. Most people buy a cheap infrared thermometer (IR gun) or an in-ear thermometer, but these are not the best choices. For an in-ear thermometer to be accurate, it is imperative that the tip is positioned in the ear canal at exactly the right location. Because all ear canals are anatomically unique, this could be very difficult. There is a high probability that we will either push it in too far and damage our eardrum or we will hurt our ear. When it is not pushed in far enough, it produces an inaccurate measurement. When it comes to IR guns scientific research has shown that these products miss a very high percentage of fevers. 

Temporal Artery Thermometers are an excellent choice though. Taking a perfect reading requires only a gentle swipe of the thermometer across the forehead. In just a few seconds, you can get an extremely accurate reading of the body’s temperature. It is so easy to do that you can even take your child’s temperature while they are asleep. 

During the monsoon season, how can we keep ourselves safe from air-borne diseases like the flu and colds? It is very important to take a few very easy steps. Always cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Drink warm water regularly and carry your own water bottle. Avoid taking someone else’s bottle or cup. Children should be kept away from people who are already infected, and their hands and feet should be washed often. Adults should also practice good hygiene. Finally, pay attention to ventilation. Always keep your home or office well-ventilated.