The infection, sometimes called the winter vomiting bug, causes vomiting and diarrhea and is easily transmitted.
Representative image. PTI
Kerala has been placed on alert after at least 13 cases of norovirus have been recorded in Wayanad district.
Two weeks ago the infection was reported in about 13 students at a veterinary college in Pookode, near Vythiri, in the Wayanad district.
As the state’s health minister, Veena George, asked people to be vigilant, here’s a look at what the virus is, its symptoms, and what can be done to treat it.
What is norovirus?
Norovirus, sometimes known as the winter vomiting virus, is a contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, it is transmitted by direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or touching a contaminated surface and putting unwashed hands in the mouth.
The Mayo Clinic states that norovirus infection occurs most often in closed and crowded settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, child care centers, schools, and cruise ships.
The most common symptoms of norovirus infection are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches.
Signs and symptoms usually begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure to norovirus and last for one to three days.
Norovirus Prevention and Treatment.
Doctors say that norovirus is highly contagious and anyone can become infected more than once.
Experts claim that one should wash one’s hands well with soap and water. Also, people should avoid contaminated food and water, including food that could have been prepared by someone who was sick. Also, rinse fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly.
Kerala health ministry guidelines also stated that those who interact with animals should pay special attention.
He added that drinking water sources, wells and storage tanks should be chlorinated with powdered bleach. People should use chlorinated water for household use and drink only boiled water.
Also, stay home if you are not feeling well and stay home for at least two days after symptoms stop appearing. The most important thing is to rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
England in July had reported a norovirus outbreak with more than 154 cases. Public Health England had said that the recent outbreak showed a three-fold increase in cases over the same time period over the previous five years.
China also suffered an outbreak in 2018, which saw more than 157 people infected. Studies had shown that eating takeout food had caused the infections, prompting the Asian giant to restrict off-campus meals and implement disinfection and case isolation measures.
In 2019, a handful of passengers on 10 European cruise ships also contracted the infection. It was later discovered that all the passengers on board the ship had consumed a smoothie made from frozen fruits and berries, which turned out to be the culprit behind the entire incident.
With inputs from agencies