The monsoon season in Pakistan this year—as is the case every year—has brought with it a great deal of disturbance, displacement, and deaths.
Deaths were reported across the country earlier after the swathes of flash floods. In Karachi alone, nine people have lost their lives since the rains on Monday.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted more rainfall across the nation tomorrow (Wednesday). With the onslaught of rain, infectious diseases are expected to follow due to the presence of stagnant water in the environment. Rainwater also mixes with overflowing sewage which can then pollute drinking water supplies.
Stagnant water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry diseases such as dengue, malaria, and Chikungunya. An increase in unclean water also leads to a rise in food poisoning and gastric problems. The rainy season often also triggers respiratory allergies and coughs and colds.
Taking precautionary measures can protect people from most of these illnesses.
Protecting yourself from mosquito-borne diseases
The best way measure to take is to to immediately drain any stagnant water in your surrounding areas. However, since the infrastructure in most major cities does not allow this, the next best thing you can do is to use powerful mosquito repellants.
Adding a few drops of kerosene oil to stagnant water also prevents mosquitoes from breeding. Make sure you’re wearing full-sleeves when you go outside.
Avoid going outside unnecessarily, especially after late evening.
Though it is tempting to eat pakoras and samosas from roadside stalls in the rainy season, street food should be avoided completely during the monsoon. Raw vegetables and salads have a higher risk of being contaminated by disease-causing bacteria and parasites – and should not be consumed around the rainy season.
The safest thing you can do for yourself is to have well-cooked, homemade meals. Wash utensils thoroughly before and after eating and make sure everyone in the household has access to safe drinking water. Drink boiled water whenever possible and avoid beverages such as tea and milkshakes from street vendors and dhabas.
Not getting soaked in the rain will keep you from catching a cold or fever. Carry umbrellas outdoors and don’t let your children play in puddles or stagnant water. Dry yourself properly if you’re exposed to rainwater and keep it from getting into your nose and ears to prevent infections. Try to keep surfaces, such as car interiors and house walls from getting damp as it could lead to the growth of mold.