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How to prevent liver illnesses in monsoon

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 1st July, 2022 08:42:46 PM
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How to prevent liver illnesses in monsoon

Rainy season is here and it is also the time when people love to enjoy roadside food with friends and family. It is also the time when several seasonal infections are on rise and people are at risk of catching serious infections like Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E. As there is a high likelihood of water contamination during this season, especially in water in supply lines and storage tanks, an upsurge in liver illnesses is usually observed. It is important to exercise caution when eating outside, cooking food and consuming raw vegetables or fruits.

"Liver infections or hepatitis can reach epidemic proportions during monsoon and are mostly caused by A and E viruses. You are most likely to get hepatitis A or E from contaminated food or water or from close contact with a person or object that's infected. Eating and drinking at roadside stalls or street vendors, eating pre-cut fruits that may be washed with contaminated water, drinking sugarcane juices and other eatables like pani puris that may be made from contaminated water or ice, eating unclean raw food and vegetables are the common ways of getting infected," says Dr Rajeev R Sinha, Senior Consultant, Liver Transplant and HPB Surgeon, Global Hospitals, Mumbai.

However, not all liver diseases are a cause of concern and some of them are even asymptomatic and get better on their own.

"Fortunately, most of the infections caused by these viruses are asymptomatic and self-limiting. A few can develop symptoms which are usually mild and last for a week or so," says Dr Rajeev.

The common symptoms are fatigue, loss of appetite, sudden nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain or discomfort. There are no specific medicines and these generally settle down with proper rest and nutritive food.

"One or two in a hundred may develop severe form of the disease with associated signs and symptoms of jaundice and can last for few months. Less than 1% can even develop an acute liver failure where the patients can rapidly progress into worsening coma and the only treatment in these severe cases is a liver transplant. Those who recover do not have an chronic liver disease," according to Dr Rajeev.

Dr Hunaid Hatimi, Senior Consultant - Liver, Pancreas and Intestine Transplant & HPB Surgery at Global Hospital, Mumbai suggests tips to take care of liver health during monsoon.

*Avoid eating unclean raw food and vegetables; care should be taken while preparing uncooked fruits or vegetables - salads and juices.

*Avoid buying food from street vendors, and care should be taken to not eat pre-cut fruits that may have been washed in contaminated water.

*Juices and other drinks carry an equal risk due to possible usage of contaminated ice.

*Good sanitary habits need to be encouraged and importance of ‘handwashing after defecation’ and ‘before preparing and consuming food’ must be emphasized upon in the community.

*Open defecation must be stopped so that water sources aren’t impacted.

Source: Hindustan Times