Norovirus detected in Kerala — here’s all you need to know about the virus
- Kerala reported two cases of
Noroviruson June 5.
- This virus is spread through contaminated food and water and is similar to the diarrhea-causing rotavirus.
- Norovirus is not a newly discovered infection. The cases were first reported in Kerala in 2021 when 13 students at a veterinary college in Wayanad tested positive for the infection.
AdvertisementKerala reported two confirmed cases of Norovirus amongst lower primary school students in Thiruvananthapuram on June 5. Health Minister Veena George warned that the virus is highly contagious.
“Norovirus infection has been detected in two children and their health condition is stable. There is no need to be concerned at the moment but everyone should remain careful and maintain cleanliness,” George said in a statement.
This virus spreads through contaminated food and water and is similar to the diarrhea-causing rotavirus. The health department said that the infection was diagnosed after samples were tested at a government lab and the food poisoning occurred after children had a mid-day meal at their school.
What is Norovirus and how is it caused?
In simple terms, Norovirus is a highly contagious infection, also termed as ‘stomach flu’ or ‘winter vomiting bug’, which can be transmitted through contaminated food and water. It makes people extremely sick and vomit or have diarrhea.
However, most of the people recover within 1-2 days, as per media reports. But it can lead to dehydration, hospitalization or death in the worst case.
It can be caused by direct contact with infected people, consumption of contaminated food or water, touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your hand in your mouth without washing.
Norovirus is not a newly discovered infection. These cases were first reported in Kerala in 2021 when 13 students at a veterinary college in Wayanad tested positive for it.
“An estimated 685 million cases of norovirus are seen annually, including 200 million cases amongst children under five. The burden of norovirus is significant; norovirus causes an estimated 200,000 deaths per year, including 50,000 child deaths, primarily impacting low-income countries. Norovirus has been estimated to cost $60 billion globally as a result of healthcare costs and economic losses” says the World Health Organization.
This disease outbreak typically occurs aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories and other closed spaces, as per reports.
Symptoms and prevention
The Norovirus have some very common symptoms and one should consult or seek medical help immediately if developed these symptoms —
- Vomiting and nausea
- Stomach discomfort
- Abdominal pain
- Fever, headache and body pain
No vaccines are currently available in the market to cure the infection. And one may get infected more than once as the virus has different strains.
The basic precaution one should take is to repeatedly wash their hands with soap. Rinse your fruits and vegetables thoroughly. The infected person is advised to avoid contact with other people and also avoid cooking for other people as it may increase the chances of infection.
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