Explainer: What is norovirus detected in Indian state of Kerala? Read details here

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
Kochi   Updated: Jun 06, 2022, 12:34 PM(IST)

What is norovirus detected in Indian state of Kerala? Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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Norovirus is a virus, which is similar to the diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus. It infects people across different age groups. The outbreaks of this disease generally occur on cruise ships, dormitories, nursing homes and other closed spaces. Norovirus is resistant to several disinfectants. It can also survive hand sanitisers. Not just this, norovirus can also survive in temperature up to 60°C. So, only steaming food or chlorinating the water will not kill the virus   

Norovirus has been detected in India’s state of Kerala. The virus has been found in two lower primary school students in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, media reports said. More samples have been collected and sent for examination, the health department officials said. The students seem to have got the virus from contaminated food from the mid-day meals, which was distributed at the schools as per prima facie. A meeting of officials has been convened by Education Minister V Sivankutty to discuss the steps that should be taken to make the mid-day meals safe.   

What is norovirus?  

Norovirus is a virus, which is similar to the diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus. It infects people across different age groups. The outbreaks of this disease generally occur on cruise ships, dormitories, nursing homes and other closed spaces. 

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Norovirus is resistant to several disinfectants. It can also survive hand sanitisers. Not just this, norovirus can also survive in temperature up to 60°C. So, only steaming food or chlorinating the water will not kill the virus.   

Diagnosis of this disease is generally done by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.   

What are the symptoms?  

The symptoms of norovirus are vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. The symptoms usually show up one or two days after exposure to this virus.   

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This virus makes the patients feel nauseous and suffer from fever, abdominal pain, headaches and body aches. In extreme cases, dehydration could happen due to loss of fluids.  

The disease caused by the norovirus is self-limiting and lasts only two or three days normally.  

Is it contagious?   

Yes, it is highly contagious. Norovirus can be transmitted through contaminated water, food and surfaces. The primary route of infection is oral-faecal. As the virus has several strains, a person can get infected multiple times.   

How can we fight norovirus?  

After using the lavatory, wash hands with soap repeatedly. During outbreaks, disinfect the surfaces with a solution of hypochlorite at 5,000 parts per million. In extreme cases, patients should be administered rehydration fluids regularly.  

Are any vaccines available?  

No, there are no vaccines available for this disease.   

(With inputs from agencies)

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