Kerala has been alerted due to the 13 reported cases of Norovirus. The cases are recorded, two weeks ago, from a veterinary college in Pookode near Vythiri in Wayanad district. Amid the acute spread of disease, State Health Minister, Veena George, has asked people to maintain proper hygiene and be more vigilant.
“Currently 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,” she had said. “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.
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is an animal-borne disease that spreads by direct contact with infected ones. This a group of viruses that causes gastrointestinal illness.
As per the Mayo Clinic, Norovirus occurs mostly in crowded places like schools, hospitals, child care centers.
America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the infection can also be transmitted through contaminated food and water.
What are the Symptoms?
Common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, fever, headache, and body aches. Further complications like dehydration can be caused due to vomiting and diarrhea.
The virus can spread quickly through the excreta and vomit of the infected individuals. The Health Ministry has issued guidelines to create awareness about it.
“Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating and after using the toilet. Those who interact with animals should pay special attention,” the health ministry’s guidelines read.
“Chlorinate drinking water sources, wells, and storage tanks with bleaching powder. Use chlorinated water for domestic use. Use only boiled water for drinking,” it added.
They have also been guided to avoid stale and exposed foods. Proper environmental, as well as personal hygiene, must be maintained.
As per the guidelines, if a person is infected, then proper rest must be taken. For dehydration, ORS and boiled water are recommended.