Kerala reports 13 cases of this contagious infection, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Norovirus infection, sometimes referred to as the winter vomiting bug, causes vomiting and diarrhoea and is easily transmissible. The infection is reported in 13 students of a veterinary college in Pookode near Vythiri in Wayanad district of Kerala two weeks ago.

Following this the state has been put on alert. State health minister, Veena George asked people to be vigilant.

“As of now there is no cause for concern but everyone should be vigilant. Activities including super chlorination are underway. Drinking water sources need to be ensured to be hygienic. With proper prevention and treatment, the disease can be cured quickly. Therefore, everyone should be aware of the disease and its means of prevention,” she added.

Kerala health ministry’s guidelines stated that those who interact with animals should pay special attention. Informed that those who have drinking water sources, wells and storage tanks must be chlorinated with bleaching powder. People must use chlorinated water for domestic use and drink only boiled water.

According to America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.

Norovirus infection occurs most frequently in closed and crowded environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, child care centres, schools and cruise ships. The most common symptoms for the Norovirus infection is diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Other symptoms include fever, headache and body ache.

According to doctors the symptoms usually seen only after 12 to 48 hours after exposure to norovirus and last and it is highly contagious and anyone can become infected more than once. Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water. Avoiding contaminated food and water, rinsing fruits and vegetables thoroughly is necessary.

In July England had reported a norovirus outbreak with more than 154 cases. Public Health England cited that the recent outbreak showed a three-fold increase in cases over the same time period during the previous five years. China too suffered an outbreak in 2018, which saw over 157 people infected. Studies had shown that eating take-out food had caused the infections.

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