Monsoon heralds the end of the harsh summers and provides welcome relief from heat and dust.

Rains bring with them a spate of infections as well, let us examine why:

1) Bacteria survive longer on moist surfaces in warm climate, thus increasing probability of catching an infection. It is also the right environment for viruses to multiply 

2) Areas of common usage and things that many people touch can transmit bacteria and viruses. Toilets, cloakrooms, smoking chambers, telephone booths are some of the places where people tend to touch door handles, electrical switches, telephone apparatuses etc

3) Towels used for drying hands and body tend to retain moisture for a long time and do not dry up completely, thus increasing chances of transmission

4) Overflowing of drains leads to a mixing up of rainwater with sewer water thus increasing the potentially infective load of contaminants.

5) Shoes and clothes get splattered with dirty water and muck thus increasing chances of contaminants reaching households

What precautions can one take?

1) Good hand hygiene and good local hygiene are most important!  Avoid touching objects in the common areas. Use hand sanitizers-scrub gels or liquid soaps periodically.  Avoid shaking hands within socially permissible limits.  Rinse your eyes with clean running water only after sanitizing your hands and getting rid of chemicals with vigorous wash. 

2) Use dry, warmed towels for drying up or use tissue paper/paper towel

3) Do not share towels at all

4) Dry up towels over dry heat as much as possible. Towel stands with heating are available

5) Wash soiled clothes separately from the routine clothes and sluice them before final wash as much as possible

6) Avoid shaking hands or embracing people with red eyes who may be potentially infected

Reach out to your doctor in case of a pink or red eye and avoid self medication.