During the monsoon season, water-borne diseases are a major problem in India. Each year, more than 3,4 million Indians are affected by the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Children are especially vulnerable since their immune systems are often not fully developed. 

Typhoid, cholera, leptospirosis or Weil’s Syndrome, jaundice, hepatitis-A, and gastro-intestinal infections like vomiting and diarrhea are the most common water-borne diseases. These diseases are often spread by eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated liquids, as well as poor sanitation.

Fever is usually one of the first signs that someone has been infected with a water-borne disease. It is crucial to check your family and yourself for fever during monsoon season. You should check your body temperature twice a day. Because in the morning your body temperature is lower (sometimes as much as 0,9 oC) than in the evening. Use a high-quality thermometer to measure your body temperature. Avoid using cheap Chinese infrared thermometers (IR guns) because scientific research has shown that they are highly inaccurate. Also, in-ear thermometers aren’t the best choice since they are only accurate when the thermometer tip is positioned exactly at the correct location in the ear canal. Since each person’s ear canal is anatomically unique, this is very difficult. The best way to accurately measure the body temperature is to use a Temporal Artery Thermometer. Within a few seconds, you will have an accurate reading of the body temperature by gently swiping the sensor head of the thermometer across the forehead. In this way you can even measure your children’s temperature while they are sleeping.

You can, however, do more to minimize the risk of catching a water-borne disease. You should always boil water before drinking or using it, for example. Before eating fruit and vegetables, wash them thoroughly. Keep your food covered and avoid eating outside food. Always carry hand sanitizer with you and wash your hands frequently. As these diseases are water-borne, make sure that all potholes and drains around your house are covered. Please make sure you and your children are vaccinated.