At least two cases of norovirus have been found in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala among lower primary school students.
What is norovirus?
- Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is also sometimes referred to as the ‘stomach flu’ or the ‘ winter vomiting bug’. It can be transmitted through contaminated food, water, and surfaces.
- The primary route is oral-faecal.
It is similar to diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus and infects people across age groups. Disease outbreaks typically occur aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories, and other closed spaces.
- According to the WHO, emerging evidence suggests that “norovirus infection is associated with intestinal inflammation, malnutrition and may cause long-term morbidity”.
- It adds that an estimated 685 million cases of norovirus are seen annually, including 200 million cases amongst children under 5
What are the symptoms of norovirus?
- The initial symptoms of norovirus are vomiting and/or diarrhoea -inducing rotavirus, which show up one or two days after exposure to the virus.
- Patients also feel nauseous, and suffer from abdominal pain, fever, headaches and body aches.
- In extreme cases, loss of fluids could lead to dehydration.
What precautions can one take?
- One may get infected multiple times as the virus has different strains.
- Norovirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can withstand heat up to 60°C. Therefore, merely steaming food or chlorinating water does not kill the virus.
- The virus can also survive many common hand sanitisers.
- The basic precaution is also the most obvious — repeatedly washing hands with soap after using the lavatory or changing diapers.
- It is important to wash hands carefully before eating or preparing food. During outbreaks, surfaces must be disinfected with a solution of hypochlorite at 5,000 parts per million.
What is the treatment for norovirus?
- The disease is self-limiting.
- The infection, even though it takes a lot out of the patient, normally lasts only two or three days, and most individuals who are not very young, very old, or malnourished can ride it out with sufficient rest and hydration.
- Diagnosis is done by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
- No vaccines are available for the disease.
- It is important to maintain hydration in the acute phase. In extreme cases, patients have to be administered rehydration fluids intravenously.
Visit Abhiyan PEDIA (One of the Most Followed / Recommended) for UPSC Revisions: Click Here
IAS Abhiyan is now on Telegram: Click on the Below link to Join our Channels to stay Updated
IAS Abhiyan Official: Click Here to Join
For UPSC Mains Value Edition (Facts, Quotes, Best Practices, Case Studies): Click Here to Join