Mumbai on orange alert for heavy rainfall: Beware, typhoid-causing germs may be lurking on your fruits, vegetables
Monsoon-related flooding may lead to increased risk of waterborne diseases, such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea, stomach Infections, etc. And the germs that can cause these diseases may be present on your fruits and vegetables.
As predicted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai has been witnessing heavy rainfall in the past two days. Heavy rains lashed parts of Mumbai and the coastal districts of Maharashtra for the second consecutive day on Saturday. The IMD had on Thursday issued an orange alert for Mumbai and adjoining coastal districts including Raigad and Ratnagiri, predicting that these districts will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall within 24 hours.
According to the IMD's calculations, heavy rainfall means rainfall between 64.5 mm and 115.5 mm in 24 hours, while very heavy rainfall is defined as a downpour between 115.5 and 204.5 mm. On the other hand, rainfall above 204.5 mm in 24 hours is considered as extremely heavy rainfall.
Following the weather department's warning, Mumbai Police advised citizens not to venture out of their homes. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also asked citizens to avoid the sea-shore over expectations of high tide during the day. Don't get scared, but you're not safe at home too. Monsoon-related flooding may also lead to increased risk of waterborne diseases, such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea, stomach infections, etc. And the germs that can cause these diseases may be lurking on your fruits and vegetables.
Typhoid is a highly infectious monsoon-related disease caused by the bacterium salmonella typhi, which may be present in stagnant water, unhygienic areas, and contaminated food. The bacterium spreads between individuals by direct contact with the faeces of an infected person through the consumption of contaminated food and water.
An infected person normally starts experiencing symptoms between 6 and 30 days after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms of typhoid include high fever, headaches, diarrhoea, fatigue, constipation, abdominal pain, chills, chest congestion, vomiting, etc. If caught early, typhoid can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can be fatal.
What you can do to prevent typhoid?
A higher number of typhoid cases is reported in countries with less access to clean water and washing facilities, and India is also on the list. So, while you stay at home, make sure that you're to consume any contaminated food and water. Practice the following precautionary measures to stay avoid typhoid this monsoon.
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Stay away from places that do not maintain hygiene.
Do not buy fruits and vegetables from street vendors.
Always wash vegetables and fruits with clean drinking water before cooking and eating.
Drink only bottled or boiled water. Wipe the outside of the bottle before drinking from it.
Disinfect water before you use it for washing, bathing or brushing teeth.
Avoid eating at street food stands, and consume only fresh homemade food.
Fully cook all food serve it hot.
Do not use ice in drinks.
Avoid raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables as they may have been washed with contaminated water. For example, lettuce and fruits like berries that can't be peeled.
Always wash your hands with soap and clean, warm water, before preparing food, eating your meals, and after using the bathroom. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If you ever experience the above symptoms of typhoid, immediately seek medical attention. When you suffer from this condition, eat small amount of food at regular intervals. This will help maintain the strength and energy of your body. But also keep a check on the type of food you eat. Include adequate protein-rich foods in your diet.