Water and Foodborne Diseases during Festivals

During festivals, it is a common trend to enjoy street food. One can indulge in festive delicacies, but you should also be cautious about health. As, there are many food and water borne diseases which spread through unhygienic practices. They affect the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and liver. GIT disorders are predominantly bacterial and liver diseases are commonly due to viruses.

Symptoms of GIT infections:

Loose stools – could be watery or blood mixed
Abdominal cramps
Dehydration: dryness of mouth and skin, dark urine, decreased urine output
Mild symptoms are common, which may stop spontaneously. However, severe symptoms are observed in Children and Old people.

Liver Diseases:

Viruses causing jaundice are called Hepatitis viruses. They are named as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E viruses. Amongst these Hepatitis A and E are transmitted through contamination of food and water with human excreta. Hepatitis A is more common in children, Hepatitis E in adults.Most of the epidemics are caused by Hepatitis E
Jaundice may take several weeks to subside. Complete recovery is seen in most patients
People with underlying long standing liver disease are more prone to worse outcomes
Danger signs are (rare): Altered behaviour, bleeding from various sites and swelling of abdomen (due to collection of fluid in side abdomen).  These indicate worsening liver function and need immediate medical attention
Common misconception during jaundice–Many a times, patients with jaundice are advised a restricted diet (Avoid oil, Non-Vegetarian food, Turmeric etc.) by family and relatives. No such restriction is needed and good nutrition during jaundice is extremely important
Tips to keep in mind during Jaundice:
Avoid taking water/ food from source which you feel is unhygienic
Take warm/ hot food
Consult nearby doctor if any of the above mentioned symptoms appear

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