With the number of daily reported cases of COVID-19 declining and with monsoons round the corner, there is a sense of relief currently.
However, there are raising concerns on whether the upcoming season can bring about an increase in the spread of the Coronavirus infection.
Monsoon is characterized by an increase in humidity, making it easier for disease-causing organisms to grow and thrive. It is a well-known fact that monsoon increases the susceptibility of infections such as flu, common cold, malaria, and dengue.
However, experts are still unsure about whether a change in the temperature and humidity can influence the behaviour and spread of the novel Coronavirus and are researching it further. Though there are significant differences between these two viruses, both cause respiratory infections with similar symptoms.
Influenza viruses are known to have an increased transmission rate during cold and humid climates, but however, there is no evidence so far to suggest that the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) would increase during the monsoons.
Many have speculated that the rainy season could have an indirect effect on the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On the contrary, some studies show that rainwater is helpful in cleansing the infected surfaces, though it will not be able to kill the virus.
Continuous studies over the seasonal impact on the virus will be able to give a clearer picture of this. However, the right precautionary measures can help you prevent the infection, despite the change in the season.
Precautionary Measures Against COVID-19 During Monsoon
1. Maintain personal hygiene. Maintaining good hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus.
Use sanitisers frequently and wash your hands often with soap and water. Take a warm shower after you are back home from work.
Wash your hands with soap and water after you sneeze or cough, after using the toilet, and before and after having your food.
2. Keep yourself hydrated. You often hear about how staying hydrated is important during the summers, so as to prevent dehydration. Drinking water is equally important during monsoons even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water in a day, preferably boiled or purified water, to help cleanse and eliminate toxins from your body. It also helps in keeping common monsoon water-borne diseases at bay.
3. Disinfect indoor spaces and furniture regularly. During the monsoon, there are gusty winds along with the rains. Considering COVID-19 is spread through tiny airborne suspended particles (droplets and aerosols), it is important to disinfect indoor spaces and furniture frequently to avoid catching the infection.
Additionally, the increase in humidity (moisture) during monsoon often affects the air quality and leads to damage and deterioration of the furniture and other household items.
Ensure to disinfect surfaces such as tabletops, doorknobs, outdoor seats and indoor furniture regularly.
Make sure that you clean the filters of your air conditioners regularly.
Keep a check on any cracks on the roof or walls as they can let water seep in.
Note: In a study published in The Lancet, in March 2021, COVID-19 is spread through airborne transmission. The WHO (World Health Organization) and the US CDC (Centers For Diseases Control and Prevention) have also confirmed the same now.
4. Eat homemade food. It’s natural that you crave hot fried snacks during monsoons and you often end up eating them from the roadside shops or restaurants.
It is advisable to have home-cooked meals during monsoons, as you cannot be sure about the hygienic practices followed in restaurants.
Avoid eating too much outside food to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection that can spread through contact with delivery agents and multiple other touchpoints.
Consume lots of fresh, home-cooked meals to boost your immunity. Include seasonal fruits and vegetables, citrus fruits, and herbs like garlic, pepper, and turmeric, in your daily diet.
General Precautions to Continue During Monsoon
Following these precautionary measures will help you prevent infections and stay healthy during the monsoons:
Wear a mask whenever you are stepping out and it is recommended to follow double masking for better protection.
Once you get back home, ensure that you sanitize your footwear. The water and sluggish mud that you step on during the rainy season is mostly contaminated and can bring home various disease-causing pathogens.
Make sure that the drainage systems of your house are clean and covered. If the drainage systems are clogged or left open, they can become breeding grounds for disease-causing organisms.
Following these simple measures and taking proper precautionary steps can help you prevent infections and stay healthy during the monsoons.
In case you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 infection such as sore throat, fever, chills or headache, consult your doctor immediately.
1. Seniority. 2021. Things You Need To Do During Rainy Season To Reduce Risk Of Infections Like COVID-19 | Safety Measure Against Infection. [online] Available at: <https://www.seniority.in/blog/how-to-reduce-risk-of-infections-like-covid-19-during-rainy-season/> [Accessed 3 June 2021].
2. Ndma.gov.in. 2021. Prevent Monsoon Illness visuals | NDMA, GoI. [online] Available at: <https://ndma.gov.in/Resources/awareness/Prevent_Monsoon_Illness/visuals> [Accessed 3 June 2021].
3. Dr. Liji Thomas, M., 2021. How might India's monsoon season impact COVID-19 ?. [online] News-Medical.net. Available at: <https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200929/How-might-Indias-monsoon-season-impact-COVID-19.aspx> [Accessed 3 June 2021].
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