Kerala reports 19 norovirus cases, spreads via sewage and foodtext_fields
Nineteen students in Kerala's Ernakulam district tested positive for the highly contagious gastrointestinal illness, norovirus. The health department has started preventative measures to stop the outbreak.
After 62 students of a private school in Kakkanad and their parents exhibited symptoms, samples were sent to the State Public Lab. Students belong to class 1 and class 2. Only two samples tested positive, said the district medical officer (DMO). The official said there is nothing alarming in their condition.
The district administration has initiated containment measures and disinfected the toilets and rooms in the school. All those who showed symptoms are instructed to be under observation.
Noro is a group of viruses that cause abdominal illness which manifests as severe vomiting and diarrhoea. In healthy adults, the illness is usually mild. It can seriously affect children, the elderly, and people with other medical conditions. The virus spreads through sewage and contaminated food. You can also get ill by coming in contact with infected people.
The school after students got infected has shifted to online mode for classes.
This is not the first time a norovirus outbreak was reported in Kerala. In June 2022, an outbreak was reported in Alappuzha. The health department linked around 950 acute cases of diarrhoea reported in 2021 to the virus.
The DMO has asked the public to wash their hands using soap before having food and after going to the toilet. People should be careful while interacting with animals and all drinking water sources should be chlorinated. Drinking water should also be boiled and seafood should be cooked thoroughly.