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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Guard yourself from stomach infections

Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 29, 2013
First Published: 20:57 IST(29/6/2013) | Last Updated: 23:49 IST(29/6/2013)
The current weather condition - marked by intermittent showers and fluctuations in temperatures - is the ideal breeding ground for diseases, increasing the chances of infections related to the stomach.

Hence, it just a matter of time before clinics and hospitals see a spurt in cases of water-borne diseases such as acute gastroenteritis, jaundice and typhoid, as chances of water contamination is higher during this season.

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The maximum number of cases of such water-borne diseases is reported from areas surrounding the Yamuna or localities that have open drains running nearby, which experts believe serve as the ideal breeding ground for disease-causing organisms.

"Most of these diseases spread through the feco-oral route, hence, one needs to be careful with the quality of drinking water and maintain proper hygiene," said a senior doctor in the department of gastroenterology of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Children and the elderly, who have low immunity or those with compromised immunity due to certain diseases such as cancer, need to be extra careful as they run a higher risk of contracting infection in this season.

"There is a greater risk of food and water contamination in this weather and one must drink only purified water and consume only fresh cooked food. Eating from road-side stalls should and must be avoided as they serve as the major reason for stomach infection," said Dr MP Sharma, head of department, gastroenterology, Rockland Hospital.

Symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, etc., are common symptoms of gastroenteritis.

"If the patient is suffering from loose motion, then he/she should increase water intake in the form of lemonade, coconut water, buttermilk, etc., and wait for the symptoms to subside. If diarrhea is accompanied with fever, then one should see a doctor as it indicates infection," said Dr Sharma.


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