Travelling to Goa is always on most people's to-do list, especially during the monsoons.
Goa puts on a very scenic look during the rains. And, with the pandemic in the background, people are often conscious about their health, and constantly in fear of contracting diseases. The monsoon is also the period when people contract a lot of water-borne diseases.
GT spoke to Intensivist and Consulting Physician, SMRC's VM Salgaocar Hospital, Goa, Dr Pradipta Bhattacharya to learn how people can keep these water-borne diseases at bay and enjoy their holiday in Goa, while at the same time ensure that the diseases don't spread.
1. Until the 90s, we used to hear about 'water-borne' diseases in Goa. We almost never hear this term now. Why? Has the health situation improved?
With urbanisation, proper drainage facilities, water purification and accelerated healthcare facilities, there is much reduction in water borne diseases.
2. What are the most common water-borne diseases? How do they occur, how can they be prevented and treated?
Some of the most common water-borne disease are cholera, typhoid, bacterial gastroenteritis, amoebiasis etc. They are cause by feco-oral contamination, which is mainly contaminated food and water ingestion. Prevention is by hand-washing, washing vegetables and foods properly before cooking, and most importantly avoid consumption of raw vegetables.
These diseases are treated using antibiotics like Doxycycline, Cephalosporin, Metronidazole.
3. Which parts of Goa are most prone to water-borne disease? What about the cities, villages?
The cases of these diseases are more prevalent in North Goa because of the abundant water bodies and huge tourism activities there. Chances of contamination are very high. Also, villages are more prone as they use river or pond water for all purposes, and hence, the chances of contamination chances are high.
4. How does the monsoon affect the occurrence of water-borne diseases? Is the situation better when the monsoon season is over?
The monsoons are notorious for waterborne diseases, the mix is very high. It increases the number of cases in every state. Preventive measures need to be taken. The situation does improve after the monsoons.
5. What are some of the ways, or precautionary measures, that people can adopt to prevent these kinds of diseases?
Washing hands frequently, proper washing of vegetables and fruits, boiling vegetables and properly cooking them, not using the same water source for drinking and washing purposes, maintaining proper hygiene, improvement of sanitation, government policies to expedite cleaning of ponds and educating locals about these disease are a few ways to control and prevent these diseases.