Beware of health hazards during Thingyan Festival

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  • Myanmar’s traditional New Year water festival, known as “Thingyan Festival”, is celebrated during the time when the country experiences its hottest weather.
    The brutal weather in mid-April is uncomfortable, and also potentially dangerous.
    Revelling while getting wet for three to four days can make one sick.
    Frequent changes in the body temperature from hot to cold cause cold and flu during the water festival.
    Cold and flu commonly occur during the Thingyan water festival due to frequent changes in the body temperature from hot to cold, especially when ice-cold water is used.
    People should be aware of the diseases and risks that are common during the water festival.
    Respiratory diseases, heat strokes, gastrointestinal diseases, skin diseases and conjunctivitis are common during the Thingyan Festival.
    To keep the diseases away, people should take care of their personal hygiene and maintain cleanliness after playing with water during the Thingyan Festival.
    People, especially children, with weak immune systems, may catch a common cold after staying wet for a long time, and it leads to respiratory diseases.
    Moreover, breathing in droplets of contaminated water that contains germs or bacteria might cause pneumonia.
    In hot weather, heat strokes or serious dehydration can occur, and it might lead to unconsciousness or even death. People lose body water through sweat, along with blood viscosity and salt levels in the body. The body needs water to stay hydrated. In this season, people must not drink contaminated water or eat uncooked food to avoid diarrhoea or dysentery.
    Meanwhile, overexposure to the sun and ultraviolet radiation can cause premature ageing and reduce the skin’s immunity, making it more susceptible to skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, a type of skin cancer that, when left untreated, can be fatal.
    Parents should ensure that their children consume food and drinks that are safe, clean and freshly cooked.
    Especially, people with weak immune systems should avoid participating in water activities or going to crowded places.
    According to dermatologists at skincare centres, the number of patients with sun-related skin conditions usually increases during this season as the temperature rises.
    People are urged to use an umbrella when walking during the day, or wear a hat with a large brim.
    Myanmar’s traditional thanaka cosmetic paste can also provide a measure of protection against the sun.
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