The first step to avoid getting sick during the rainy season is to know what possible diseases you can get from the rain.
1. The Common Cold (“Sipon”)
Let us start with the most popular. Aside from the sneezing and dizziness, it’s what comes out of your nose that ruins your poise (“nakakasira ng poise”). It costs you a lot of money on tissue paper and it also destroys your dates with your girlfriend or boyfriend. You are lucky if you do not get a sore throat and fever, too.
Avoiding common colds needs only simple steps that many people always forget to do: covering the mouth when sneezing (“pag bumabahin”), washing your hands properly, and not touching your face. It is also important to get enough sleep, so that your immune system will be strong enough not to get infected by any virus (“para hindi tamaan ng sipon”).
Now, this sickness will make you afraid. It is caused by a mosquito bite. It is dangerous. The symptoms are hard to detect. In fact, it can take as long as two weeks before you see the primary symptoms. By then, it is already too late. The disease has already spread all over your body (“malala na”). The danger signs are muscle pains, fever, and fatigue. Rashes (“butlig”) can appear a few days after the fever starts.
Prevention of dengue is important. If you have things around your house that are constantly in water (for example: fish, and plants), always keep the water clean. Beware of possible mosquito breeding grounds (“ingatan na huwag pamugaran ng lamok”).
Drinking water infected by bacteria called Vibrio cholerae is the cause of cholera. The disease causes vomiting and severe diarrhea (“pagsusuka at pagtatae”), which can lead to dehydration afterwards.
The most important thing to do to avoid cholera is to make sure that your food is clean and safe to eat. Make sure that you know where you get your food and water. The rainy season can bring a cholera epidemic, so it is important to know the areas near your place that are already affected by cholera so you can avoid going there.
Like cholera, typhoid is caused by food and water that have been contaminated (“maruming pagkain at tubig”). It’s even more dangerous because it’s highly infectious (“mabilis makahawa”). If one member of the family gets sick with typhoid, quarantine him or her so other family members will not be infected (“ibukod ang may sakit para hindi makahawa”).
Luckily, there are vaccines that can prevent typhoid. But, once you already have typhoid, it must be carefully treated and monitored (“maingat na gamutin at bantayan”). Dehydration is a danger, so make sure to drink a lot of fluids. Even after the patient gets well, he must still be careful because the disease can come back even after only two weeks.
These four diseases are all preventable and treatable. There is no reason for you not to enjoy the rain. For many Filipinos, rain is cleansing, and as long as you are careful about your health, you can enjoy and be happy when it is raining.