Norovirus in Kerala: The Kerala government confirmed two cases of Norovirus in children on June 5, 2022. Kerala Health Minister Veena George confirmed that norovirus infection has been detected in two children in the Vizhinjam area of capital Thiruvananthapuram and their health condition is stable. Norovirus, which spreads through contaminated food and water, is known to be ‘highly contagious’.
The children reportedly complained of diarrhea and food poisoning, following which samples were collected from students of LMSLP school in Vizhinjam. The samples were sent for testing at a public health lab, where the presence of Norovirus was confirmed in two children.
The state Minister said that there is no need to be concerned at the moment but everyone should remain careful and maintain cleanliness. She informed that the health department has assessed the situation and samples have been collected and tested from the concerned area as a preventive measure and preventive actions have been intensified.
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When was Norovirus first reported in Kerala?
Norovirus cases were first reported in Kerala in November 2021, when 13 children tested positive for the infection at a veterinary college in Wayanad. The infection was though brought under control by the state government by taking immediate action and no further spread was reported.
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that spreads through contaminated food, water and surfaces. The virus is also called as the stomach flu or bug due to its impact on the gastrointestinal system of the body.
What are Norovirus symptoms?
The most common symptoms of Norovirus include-
These symptoms can appear within 12 hours of exposure to the norovirus virus or even after 1-2 days.
How many days does norovirus last?
The norovirus symptoms generally subside after three days. However, even after recovery, an infected person can be contagious for up to two weeks.
How does Norovirus spread?
Norovirus spreads by touching contaminated surfaces or close contact with an infected person. The person infected with norovirus would be highly contagious and can potentially infect a large number of people through contact with any kind of secretion including saliva.
What is the most common cause of norovirus?
The most common causes of norovirus include eating food or having any kind of liquid that is contaminated with the virus. The food that is grown with contaminated water can cause the virus infection in people.
Is Norovirus a severe infection?
No, Norovirus is not a severe infection and most people tend to recover within 1-2 days. It does not have any long-term health complications.
There is no specific treatment for norovirus. Those who are infected with the virus should ensure that they are properly hydrated as dehydration is a major health risk, especially among young children and older people and those with weak immune systems.
However, in case of severe dehydration, the infected person must immediately get in touch with health professionals.
How to prevent Norovirus infection?
One of the simple ways to prevent norovirus infection is washing hands regularly, especially before eating, before cooking food, before serving food to anyone or after using the bathroom.
Cooking seafood properly before eating is also one of the key preventions, as contaminated water is one of the main reasons for the spread of Norovirus.
If you display any symptoms, isolate yourself for at least 3 days after your recovery.