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How NOT to get sick during the rainy season
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How NOT to get sick during the rainy season

With diarrhea, dengue, respiratory tract infections and leptospirosis on the rise during rainy season, it pays to know what to do to avoid some of the season’s most common illnesses.

1. Clean hands save lives.
Frequent hand washing is the single, most effective way to prevent spread of disease. Wash hands with soap and clean, flowing water. If these are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Rub the hands for at least 20 seconds or simply sing "Happy Birthday" two times.

Wash your hands during these times:
  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching animals or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

2. Be prepared with the right rain gear.
Bring an umbrella, jacket or even keep a pair of rain boots in your locker.

3. Regularly check your surroundings.
Make sure there are no containers with stagnant water and sweep out canals and gutters.

4. Go outdoors every chance you get. Breathe in some fresh, clean air. Open windows and doors at least once a day to air out rooms. Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated places.

5. Minimize contact with people who are sick.

6. Drink only safe water. If you are unsure of the source of the water, bring it to a rolling boil for 1 full minute to eliminate contaminants.

7. Avoid eating street food.

8. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or when you cough, preferably with a tissue paper which you should discard immediately. A handkerchief can harbor viruses and bacteria.

9. Avoid walking in floodwaters. If you have no choice, wash the exposed skin with water and soap followed by alcohol. Take a prophylactic dose of Doxycycline.
Do you have a health question you would like Dr. Diana Sarmiento to answer? Write it down in the Comments section below. Your question may make it to Dr. Sarmiento’s new Yahoo! SHE blog, “Ask Dr. D.”