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Common Illnesses Spread by Floods

As much as a lot of us love the colder, rainy seasons, we can’t ignore the fact that the rain brings us a lot of issues. Flooding is a major problem all over the country, and we often hear of tragic disasters like landslides that come with the flooding.

The “ber” months is also the season of health concerns. Coughs, colds, and the flu are very common during this time of the year, and many of us end up missing a few days of school or work because we feel under the weather.

But the common cold is not the only health problem that comes around during the rainy season. The floods from the rain can potentially increase the transmission of more life-threatening illnesses. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), floods can possibly spread water-borne and vector-borne (infections transmitted by the bite of infected) diseases.

Below are the most common illnesses that floods can potentially bring, as well as some tips to avoid them.

Water-borne Illnesses

Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is an acute illness associated with fever caused by the Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi bacteria. It can also be caused by Salmonella paratyphi, a related bacterium that usually causes a less severe illness. The bacteria are deposited in water or food by a human carrier and are then spread to other people in the area.

Cause:  Salmonella Typhi Bacteria

Mode of Transmission

Prevention and Control


Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.

Cause: Vibrio cholerae bacteria

Mode of Transmission

Immediate Treatment

Replace lost body fluid by giving Oral Rehydration Solution (ORESOL) or a homemade solution composed of 1 teaspoon of salt, 4 teaspoons of sugar mix to 1liter of water. If diarrhea persists, consult your health workers or bring the patient to the nearest hospital.

Prevention and Control


Leptospirosis is a rare bacterial infection we get from animals. It’s spread through their urine, especially from dogs, rodents, and farm animals. They may not have any symptoms, but they can be carriers.

Cause:  Leptospira bacteria

Incubation Period:  7-10 days

Mode of Transmission:

Entry of the leptospira bacteria through wounds when in contact with flood waters, vegetation, and moist soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals, especially rats.

Signs and Symptoms:


Antibiotics duly prescribed by a physician.

Early recognition and treatment within two days of illness to prevent complications of leptospirosis, so early consultation is advised.

Prevention and Control

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness.  Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity. However, a very small proportion of people infected with hepatitis A could die from fulminant hepatitis.

Cause: Hepatitis A virus (HAV).

Mode of Transmission

Ingestion of food contaminated with human waste and urine of persons who are sick of Hepatitis A

Signs and Symptoms

Immediate Treatment

Prevention and Control

Vector-borne Illnesses

 Mosquitos are the cause of the two most common vector-borne illnesses in the country, Malaria and Dengue fever.


Malaria is a life-threatening disease. It’s typically transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream.

Cause: Plasmodium parasite

Mode of Transmission

Typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Congenital malaria occurs when a mother with malaria passes on the disease to her baby at birth.

Signs and Symptoms


Treatment for the disease is typically provided in a hospital. Your doctor will prescribe medications based on the type of parasite that you have. In some instances, the medication prescribed may not clear the infection because of parasite resistance to drugs. If this occurs, your doctor may need to use more than one medication or change medications altogether to treat your condition.

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses.


Aedesaegypti, the transmitter of the disease, is a day-biting mosquito which lays eggs in clear and stagnant water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels, old rubber tires, etc. The adult mosquitoes rest in dark places of the house.

Signs and Symptoms

Prevention and Control for Malaria and Dengue fever.

Also, it’s best to keep yourself warm and dry. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and drink lots of water. And if you’re ever feeling under the weather, a nice hot bowl of batches will surely cheer you up.

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