Norovirus: Know about 'winter vomiting bug' infecting Kerala students
The Kerala government on Sunday confirmed two children in the state's capital Thiruvananthapuram had the norovirus infection, which is similar to the diarrhea-causing rotavirus. State Health Minister Veena George warned about the disease and urged people to practice good hygiene. It's a highly contagious disease, causing vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States (US).
- The norovirus infection was discovered after eight students from a government upper primary school in Kayamkulam, Kerala's Alappuzha district, were hospitalized on Saturday with symptoms of food poisoning.
- According to news agency PTI, the student's samples were examined at a government lab.
- As per Kerala's health minister, the virus "can be cured" and "prevented from spreading."
Norovirus is also known as the stomach flu or the "winter vomiting bug." However, its sickness is unrelated to the flu, which is induced by the influenza virus, according to the CDC. As per the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), the emergence of norovirus can be very distressing, but it usually disappears in about two days.
According to the CDC, norovirus causes stomach or intestinal inflammation, which is known as acute gastroenteritis. Symptoms of norovirus usually appear 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Norovirus symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Fever, headaches, and body aches are among the other symptoms. As per the CDC, norovirus can cause dehydration in young children, the elderly, and people who are ill.
A healthy person contracts norovirus by eating or drinking contaminated food or liquids, touching norovirus-infected surfaces or objects, and then putting their fingers in their mouth. It can also be caused by having direct contact with an infected person, such as by providing care or sharing food and items with them. Infected people with norovirus can release billions of norovirus particles, which are invisible.
Most people recover from the norovirus infection within one-three days. Others can get sick from a few norovirus particles released by the infected. Norovirus can be prevented by washing hands with soap and water. Also, it can survive for two weeks or longer in recovered people's feces, as per the CDC. As a result, it's recommended to wash your hands frequently during this time.
There is no particular medication available to treat the norovirus infection, NDTV reported. To avoid dehydration, the US CDC recommends drinking abundant liquids to substitute for fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea. Maintaining hydration is critical during the acute phase, according to the experts. Patients must be given rehydration fluids intravenously if this is not possible.