It’s the rainy season in Nigeria, however, this rainy season will not be the same as it used to be.
Since the emergence of COVID 19, it has been an ongoing debate on how this virus will react to the changing weather conditions. Humid weather, reduced temperatures and rains predispose to many respiratory viral infections and COVID 19 being a respiratory disease can show a surge in this weather or change of season.
While scientists continue to investigate the COVID-19 disease progression during the rainy months, it is extremely essential to continue all social distancing and hygiene practices and the advisories issued for our safety.
Every rainy season potentially increases the transmission of communicable diseases. These can put additional pressure on the healthcare system of the country, which is already under a lot of stress.
Prevention is, therefore, the best cure. There are numerous infectious diseases sitting tight for us in this season. Some of these diseases are effectively preventable with precautions and mindfulness while others can be managed by appropriate treatment otherwise they can lead to significant issues.
- Water-borne diseases, such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis and hepatitis A
- Vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, and West Nile Fever
Flooding is associated with an increased risk of infection, however this risk is low unless there is significant population displacement and/or water sources are compromised.
Germs spread easily from an unhygienic environment to food and water sources.
The major risk factor for outbreaks associated with flooding is the contamination of drinking-water facilities, and even when this happens, the risk of outbreaks can be minimized if the risk is well recognized and disaster-response addresses the provision of clean water as a priority.
Floods may indirectly lead to an increase in vector-borne diseases through the expansion in the number and range of vector habitats. Standing water caused by heavy rainfall or overflow of rivers can act as breeding sites for mosquitoes.
The risk of outbreaks is greatly increased by complicating factors, such as:
- Changes in human behavior (increased exposure to mosquitoes while sleeping outside, a temporary pause in disease control activities, overcrowding),
- Changes in the habitat which promote mosquito breeding (landslide, river damming, and rerouting).