In Nigeria, a lot of people look forward to the rainy season due to how cool everywhere tends to be. But this also brings its own problems. This is more than environmental issues like flood or clogged drainages. Some diseases are frequent or more likely to occur during the rainy season.
This does not mean that those diseases do not occur at other times of the year, but the number of cases of such diseases jumps during the rainy season. People are advised to seek better protection from these diseases when the rainy season starts.
In today’s post, we will be looking at some of the common diseases that are prevalent during the rainy season.
Malaria is one of the common diseases in Nigeria and is a leading cause of death, claiming thousands of lives every year. While people can be vulnerable to malaria at any time, the number of malaria cases goes up during the rainy season.
This is because such time provides the right environment for mosquitoes to breed, increasing their numbers. Mosquitoes thrive in stagnant water and the rainy season provides so much stagnant water, from clogged drainages to water trapped in buckets, bins, discarded tyres, and so on.
This is why during the rainy season, it is advised that you clear your surroundings and empty every form of stagnant water around you. Clear up your drainages, get rid of waste, and clear the bushes in your surroundings.
According to a 2021 study, there is a marked seasonality of childhood severe malaria infection in northern Nigeria, with 77% of cases occurring during the wet season.
Malaria was found to be associated with rainfall at a 2 to 3 months lag among the climatic variables. The study recommends the urgent implementation of seasonal malaria chemoprophylaxis.
Another common disease during the rainy season is cold/flu. This is so prevalent that it is one of the common signs that it is the rainy season.
While cold or common cold refers to mild things like nasal congestion, cough, runny nose, itchy throat, and so on, flu is much more serious as it is caused by a bacterial infection.
In most cases, flu requires medical attention for you to get better. Common cold often resolves by itself, although it can be very discomforting.
More cases of cholera are recorded during the rainy season. It is a disease that is transmitted by drinking or using contaminated water. This often happens when people decide to use rainy water for cooking.
Most times, this water is stored in dirty buckets and may also be the breeding spot for mosquitoes and other insects. Drinking such water or using it to cook could lead to a serious illness.
Try and avoid using rainwater to do anything as much as possible. If you must, make sure you store the water somewhere clean and always boil it before drinking or using it for other means. There are also other forms of water treatment you can try to make the water safe for use.
A 2023 study noted that cholera outbreaks were often increased due to rain which washed sewage into open wells and ponds, where people obtain water.
Popularly called “apollo,” this disease spreads more during the rainy season. A very contagious disease, conjunctivitis is caused by allergies or bacterial or viral infection. It spreads when you come in contact with someone who has the disease.
Some common symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness in one or both eyes, gritty feeling in one or both eyes, discharge during the night that prevents your eyes from properly opening in the morning, and so on.
Typhoid is one of the most common rainy season diseases in Nigeria. It is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria and is still a serious health threat, especially for children.
Consuming contaminated food and water or close contact with an infected person can cause typhoid fever.
The symptoms of typhoid are fever, headache, diarrhea/constipation, and stomach pain.
During the rainy season, you can avoid typhoid by washing your hands regularly, drinking clean water, and avoid eating raw fruits that have not been properly washed.
Although the rainy season can be a beautiful period, it can come with health issues. Some of the common rainy season diseases in Nigeria are malaria, typhoid, cold, conjunctivitis, and cholera. You can avoid these diseases by following the precautions in this article.
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