As cases of vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya go up in the National Capital, Delhi Government has advised chemists against selling Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Diclofenac medicines without a prescription.
In a circular signed by the Head of the Drugs Control Department on 19 July, chemists have been advised to restrict the OTC (over-the-counter sale) of these medicines as they cause "destruction of platelets in human blood", and can be detrimental to a patient having illnesses like dengue that impact platelet count as it is.
As Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and other parts of North India emerge from devastating urban flooding, experts warn cases of vector-borne illnesses, as well as other infectious diseases are likely to go up in these areas.
"We have been seeing a steady rise in infections which typically rise during the monsoon season," says Dr Bharesh Dedhia, Chief of Critical Care, Hinduja Hospital, Khar, Mumbai.
"We are seeing a rise in viral illnesses which affect the respiratory tract. illnesses that are caused by drinking contaminated water, such as gastroenteritis are also going up."Dr Bharesh Dedhia
Why Do Infections and Respiratory Illnesses Go Up During Monsoons?
"In floods when people are forced to walk through dirty mudded water, if you have some cuts and abrasions, then other bacteria can cause infections of these abrasions and cellulitis and skin infections as well."Dr Bharesh Dedhia
Secondly, he says, "vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, which are caused by bites of infected mosquitoes, are also on the rise."
There's also the risk of electrocution.
Atleast 3 people have died in Delhi due to accidental electrocution in the past month. Loose hanging wires that have lost insulation become more dangerous during heavy rains and water logging.
If You're in a Flooded Area, Remember...
According to Dr Dedhia, here are some things to remember if you're exposed to contaminated flood water to protect yourself from illness.
If you have cuts and abrasions, cover it with waterproof tape.
Wear gum boots, or waterproof shoes if you have to walk through flood water.
Spend as little time in flood water as possible. Do not swim, or play in flood water.
Watch out for signs of Leptospirosis such as fever, body headache and other symptoms.
Seek medical advice as soon as you get these symptoms.
Drink boiled and filtered water if possible.
Do not touch electric poles, and lose hanging wires on the street.