THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala government on Sunday said norovirus infection, similar to the diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus, was confirmed in two children residing near here.
The Health Department evaluated the situation and said precautionary measures have been taken as the virus spreads through contaminated water and food.
State Health Minister Veena George said the disease is highly-contagious and urged the people to maintain hygiene.
"Norovirus infection has been detected in two children and their health condition is stable. There is no need to be concerned at the moment but everyone should remain careful and maintain cleanliness," Minister said.
The infection was detected after samples of students who complained of food poisoning were tested at a government lab.
Officials suspect the food poisoning took place after the students took mid-day meals at school.
The Minister said the norovirus can be cured and prevented from spreading.
What is Norovirus?
It is a virus which leads to gastroenteritis. The stomach walls and the bowel will develop inflammation. Usually healthy people will not get infected easily. But it mostly affects children, elderly and those having other illnesses causing serious issues.
Diarrohea, tummy ache, vomiting, nausea, fever, headache and body ache are the symptoms of Norovirus. If vomiting and diarrohea persists, it will cause dehydration and become serious.
What should be done if Norovirus is contracted?
The patient should take rest at home under the direction of a doctor. ORS and lukewarm water should be consumed periodically. The first three days are crucial.
How does it spread?
It is a waterborne virus which gets transmitted through contaminated water and food. The virus can spread through direct contact with an affected patient or when caring him/her. It can also spread through the affected person’s faecal matter or vomit.
Things to be considered
Personal hygiene should be ensured and the locality has to be maintained clean.
Hands should be washed properly before consuming food and also after going to the toilet.
Those interacting with animals should be careful.
Water bodies, drinking well and storage tanks have to be chlorinated with bleaching powder.
Chlorinated water should be used for drinking purposes.
Only boiled water should be consumed.
Fruits and vegetables should be used only after washing it thoroughly.
Seafood, crab, mussels and shellfishes should be consumed only after they are properly cooked. The vessels and hands should be properly cleaned.