Some weeks back, not many would go out without a sweater on or tucked away in their bags in case of “emergency.” This is because it was the raining season and cold was usually generally so much that everyone had one method or the other put in place to survive.
Similarly, umbrellas were very handy in the event of rainfall which often came unannounced.
The season was with diseases peculiar to it and they were tackled as necessary.
The wet season is now over and the dry season is here. As it is usually the case, the world is already complaining of heat, dust and other peculiarities that come with it. Like the wet season, the dry season has some diseases that are peculiar to it and can make life quite unbearable. That is apart from the heat that often makes almost everyone uncomfortable.
A medical doctor, Dotun Dina, resident in Ijoko-Lemode area of Ogun State, in this interview with SAKIBU OLOKOJOBI, speaks on how best to survive the season healthwise. Excerpts:
We are in the dry season and we know it has its peculiarities. What are the peculiarities of the season, healthwise?
The dry season is a time when, usually, the weather is very hot and so much dust is raised. People are often faced with health challenges, particularly in the area of respiratory tract infections; this is talking about flu. We have viral infections which people inhale when the dust is raised, or through droplet from sneezing, coughing which put some organisms in the air.
When you breathe in all these things, the body will react and that is why you have catarrh, runny nose, cough. God has been wonderful such that when it happens, the antibodies will respond. These are the things that will fight these strange things breathed in. When it happens and nature runs its course, it will go. That is how God has made things to happen. But unfortunately in some cases, if your defence is low, then, secondary viral infections or opportunistic organism like bacteria can cause problem. That is why in some cases, after cough, catarrh, then, runny nose, and if care is not taken, there will be chest problems –that is talking about pneumonia. If a person is susceptible to asthma, there will be attacks or have the situation aggravated.
When you breathe in all these things, the body will react and that is why you have catarrh, runny nose, cough.
What are the common diseases this season?
We have cough, catarrh, chest problem like pneumonia. For the children, there can be heat problems because their system cannot regulate heat. They are prone to convulsion because of the high temperature. Unlike the system of the adult, the system of children cannot regulate heat. It is very important for their temperature to be cool; it shouldn’t be high. Also, many people can pick tuberculosis at this period because the bacteria can also be in the air. Asthmatic problems can be aggravated during this period.
So, how do we prevent these problems associated with the season?
Number one, we have to prevent exposure to dust as much as possible. If you must be in such an environment, you should wear a mask to cover your nose to prevent you inhaling dust. Another is to be well-hydrated during this period. You have to take a lot of water and a lot of vitamins, particularly, fruits. This is to make your immune system to be strong in order to fight all these organisms that may come in. If your immunity system is strong, then your body can fight the strange organisms and you will be okay. But in case it does not go, then, you have to go to the hospital.
But if you have seen some symptoms and they persist, then you have to go to the hospital.
What are the quick treatments for some of these problems?
It depends. If it is just a viral infection, it will run its course and go; that is if it is not a serious one like viral meningitis or others. But if you have seen some symptoms and they persist, then you have to go to the hospital.
*This interview was first published on December 15, 2018. It is repeated today in view of its relevance to the current situation.