Kerala monsoon season: How to maintain optimal health?

Before the onset of monsoon, you can consider making an appointment with your healthcare provider to assess your health. Representative image/iStock/Hispanolistic

Kerala is gearing up for another monsoon season and already, and the state has already begun fighting diseases like West Nile fever, dengue fever and Hepatitis A. Staying healthy in the state's fierce rainy season can be a challenge, considering the increased risk of waterborne and mosquito-borne diseases, susceptibility to infections, high humidity and dampness around us. However, it's possible to take simple preventive measures by preparing yourself and your home to stay at your optimal health this season. Here's how: 

Make sure vaccinations are up-to-date
Much before the onset of monsoon, you can consider making an appointment with your healthcare provider to assess your health, review your vaccination history and take necessary ones based on your age and health. If recommended by a doctor, take vaccines for Hepatitis A or B, typhoid and influenza. If you are planning a trip, take those required considering potential exposure to infections. Also, take precautions against mosquito bites, respiratory infections, leptospirosis, chikungunya and malaria, talking to your doctor. 

Drink adequate water
It's important to remember that you might not feel thirsty during the monsoon season, but you should still drink at least 10 glasses of water. Use boiled or filtered water, to avoid impurities. If you engage in demanding physical activities, you should increase your intake. Consuming hydrating food items like leafy greens, cucumbers and oranges will also help. Avoiding excessive beverages like tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks is also important. Meanwhile, consume warm drinks like broths, soups, herbal teas and electrolyte-replenishing drinks if you are active in the season. 

Maintain good hygiene
Before having food and after using the restroom, or touching public surfaces, wash your hands well with soap and water. Wherever possible, use hand sanitiser. Keeping your nails trimmed, bathing daily, wearing clean, dry clothes, maintaining oral hygiene and covering your mouth and nose with elbow or tissue is important to stay away from illnesses. Make sure your surroundings are also clean and get rid of stagnant water, before the season begins. 

Eat nutritious food
Practicing food safety and eating immune-boosting dishes are very important in the monsoon season. Also, incorporate healthy fats like seeds, olive oil and nuts into your diet, alongside whole grains like oats, quinoa and brown rice, instead of refined items. Soups and stews made of lean protein, legumes and veggies can also provide comfort in this season. Make sure the food is stored safely to prevent diseases. 

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