In Kerala, the state government confirmed two ‘highly contagious’ norovirus cases in two children on Sunday. According to the state health department, precautionary measures have been taken as the virus is believed to be transmitted through contaminated water and food.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George urged people to maintain cleanliness. “Two children have been diagnosed with norovirus infection, and their health condition is stable. There is no need to worry now, but everyone should be careful and maintain hygiene,” news agency PTI said.
Eight students of a government upper primary school at Kayamkulam in Kerala’s Alappuzha district were admitted to a hospital on Saturday following complaints of uneasiness due to a suspected case of food poisoning, following which the infection was detected. As reported by PTI, the samples of the students were tested in a government laboratory. According to the state health minister, the virus can be “cured” and “prevented from spreading”.
Norovirus causes gastrointestinal illness, causing inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines, severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The virus does not significantly affect healthy people, but it can be challenging in young children, the elderly, and people with comorbidities. The virus quickly spreads through close contact with infected people or touching contaminated surfaces. It also spreads by eating food prepared or handled by someone with stomach worms. The virus is also believed to be distributed through the stool and vomit of an infected person.
Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, high temperature, headache and body aches.