Hot weather causes an increase in diarrhea cases-here’s how to stay safe.

India is currently experiencing record-high temperatures, leading to an increase in dehydration and diarrhoea, particularly affecting children under five and the elderly. As the heat rises, so does the risk of health issues, notably a surge in diarrhoea cases. This seasonal increase poses a serious threat to vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Understanding the causes and taking preventive measures can help you stay safe during the hotter months.

Why does hot weather cause diarrhoea?
Bacterial Growth: High temperatures create an ideal environment for bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella, common causes of diarrhoea. Improperly prepared or stored food can harbor these germs.
Food Spoilage: Heat accelerates food spoilage. Consuming spoiled food can lead to foodborne illnesses, including diarrhoea. Outdoor activities like picnics and barbecues, where food is often left out in the heat, increase this risk.
Water Contamination: Heat can worsen water scarcity, leading to the use of unsafe water sources. Contaminated water is a significant source of diarrhoeal diseases, especially in areas with poor sanitation infrastructure.
Dehydration and Weakened Immunity: High temperatures can cause dehydration, weakening the immune system and making individuals more susceptible to infections that cause diarrhoea.

Preventive measures to stay safe:
Hydration is Key: Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Opt for water, buttermilk, or fresh coconut water to replenish lost electrolytes.
Food Safety First: Be cautious about what you eat. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and avoid street food or anything that seems undercooked or mishandled.
Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water before eating and after using the restroom. This simple action can significantly reduce the spread of pathogens.
Beware of Contaminated Water: Stick to bottled or boiled water, especially when travelling. Avoid using questionable water sources for drinking or even brushing your teeth.
Dress for the Season: Wear loose, light-coloured clothing to help your body stay cool and prevent dehydration from excessive sweating.

If diarrhoea strikes:
Rest and Replenish Fluids: Prevent dehydration by drinking oral rehydration solutions (ORS) or a simple mix of water, salt, and sugar.
Bland Diet: Eat easily digestible foods like bananas, rice, and toast. Avoid dairy products, caffeine, and alcohol.
Over-the-Counter Medications: Certain medications can alleviate symptoms. Consult a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.

Warm weather increases the risk of diarrhoeal illnesses, but by understanding the causes and taking precautions, you can keep yourself and your family safe. Follow these simple tips to enjoy the summer weather without worrying about stomach issues.

Time Tech Pharma

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