Stomach flu or infection, medically known as viral gastroenteritis is another major issue as symptoms resembles COVID
With the onset of monsoon all over India, a lot of people are falling prey to water-borne diseases in the country. Of the total patients visiting the OPD of the pediatrics unit at the Women and Children Hospital, were found to be affected by diarrhoea, cholera, fever, vomiting, stomach infection and jaundice (hepatitis A and E). During the monsoon, it is also observed, Dengue, Malaria, Typhoid and other viral fevers are also on rise.
Further Stomach flu or infection, medically known as viral gastroenteritis, is a contagious infection that affects the stomach and intestine, is also affecting people especially in monsoon. Especially the Stomach flu or Viral Gastroenteritis affected patients symptoms can be misconstrued as COVID symptoms. The patient with Viral Gastroenteritis will display the following Signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Nausea, Fever, Headache, Abdominal pain & Lack of appetite.
While viruses are behind the majority of gastrointestinal infections, bacterial infections are also normal. This infection is also called “food poisoning.” The major Causes of stomach infection are Yersinia, found in pork; Staphylococcus, which is found in dairy products like meat and eggs; Shigella, found in water (especially swimming pools); Salmonella, which is found in meat, eggs, and dairy products; Campylobacter, which is found in poultry and meat; E.coli, which is found in salads and ground beef etc.
According to Dr. K S Soma Sekhar Rao, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Kondapur opines that under normal circumstances the above mentioned diseases are considered to treatable and not life threatening ones. But unfortunately the symptoms of majority of above mentioned diseases are also considered to be symptoms of COVID fever thus creating another great hurdle in treating these patients during this pandemic thus complicating the situation, he says. Further he advises that rather than facing odd situation during the pandemic it is better to avoid getting infection or the above stated diseases.
Dr. K S Soma Sekhar Rao, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Kondapur suggests people to avoid intake of the following Food & Drinks:
Certain foods should be avoided as it may aggravate nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Caffeinated beverages disturb the digestion process and worsen diarrhea.
Fried Foods are hard to digest and may contribute to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Spicy foods may stimulate nausea and vomiting.
Sugary foods and beverages may worsen diarrhea.
Dr. K S Soma Sekhar Rao, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Kondapur also suggest various precautions as stated below:
Maintain Hand Hygiene
Hand hygiene is the most critical aspect when preventing yourself from a stomach infection.
Stay Away from Street Food
Street food is most likely to give you stomach infection. The primary reason for an increase in such instances is that most germs come directly in contact ith the food item sold in the open air.
Keep Away from Dirty Water
The best way to prevent this is by completely staying away from dirty water. However, if stepping in water is a necessity, make sure you’re well covered from head to toe.
Drink Safe Water
Drinking safe water is necessary, and this practice should be followed throughout the year. However, during the monsoon, this habit must be developed without fail. Boil water before drinking and use only RO water to be 100 percent sure.
Exercise is associated with improved immunity and makes the body much more equipped to handle infections.
Experts added that during the rainy season, children are more vulnerable to various types of infections owing to consumption of contaminated water or food items prepared with it. The World Health Organization which has already identified drinking water contamination as a critical public health issue in India has estimated that more than 98,000 children suffer from acute diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases every year.
Under the circumstances experts advise people to take extra precautions in order to avoid such diseases by taking all the necessary precautions to stay healthy while staying at home.
Article is prepared by Dr. K S Soma Sekhar Rao, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Kondapur