Norovirus in Kerala: Norovirus has reportedly infected 57 people including 54 students and three workers in a hostel of St. Mary’s College, Thrissur. The health officials suspect that the virus must have spread through food or drinking water. This is the first time that the norovirus infection has been reported in Thrissur.
A team of health officials led by the district medical officer is examining the hostel, its kitchen and surroundings and the drinking water supply. There are around 240 students and 15 workers in the hostel.
As per college authorities, the students had been complaining about symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and fever from November 8th. Nobody thought that they could have norovirus infection.
Norovirus in Thrissur: All important details here
How was Norovirus infection detected?
Around 8 students had gone for treatment at the Thrissur General Hospital on November 24. Their blood, faeces and urine samples were tested the virology laboratory in Alappuzha. The tests confirmed the presence of norovirus infection.
What preventive measures have been taken by health authorities to control norovirus outbreak?
•The district’s health department has taken sufficient precautions to check the spread of the norovirus infection. A health team had conducted an awareness programme and given instructions to all students and workers of the college regarding the preventive measures they can take to keep themselves protected from infection.
•The college authorities have been instructed not to send the students home till the virus outbreak is brought under control and they are cured.
•The health officials have cautioned the people to be careful as the virus is transmissible from people to people but not to panic.
•A medical team will be keeping a check on the other hostels and old age homes in Thrissur.
How can people protect themselves from Norovirus?
People have been asked to follow the following steps to keep themselves protected against Norovirus infection:
-Drink only boiled water
-Wash hands properly, especially after using the washroom
-Wash vegetables and fruits properly before using
-Do not share food or vessels
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is caused by consuming contaminated food or water. The virus is highly transmissible as it can spread from close contact with the infected person. The virus is sometimes called the stomach flu but it is not related to the flu that is caused by the influenza virus.
The most common symptoms of norovirus are:
How does Norovirus spread?
Norovirus outbreaks are common as the virus spreads very easily and quickly from:
-Direct contact with infected people
-Through foods and water
-Through contaminated surfaces
There is no specific medicine to treat norovirus infection. Those experiencing symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are encouraged to drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost and prevent dehydration.
How long does norovirus infection last?
Norovirus infection, in most cases, only for 2-3 days. However, elderly people, infants, pregnant women and people with low immunity may have to take medical support.
Norovirus in India
At least, 13 norovirus cases were previously detected in Kerala and Karnataka. An alert was issued in the bordering districts of Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada. In Kerala, the infection was reported among 13 students of a veterinary college at Pookode in the Wayanad district.