Two cases confirmed in Kerala; distinct symptoms to watch out for

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The Kerala government on Sunday confirmed two cases of norovirus in children. Called ‘highly contagious’, the norovirus spreads through contaminated water and food. In view of the aggressive nature of the virus, the Kerala government has urged the people to maintain hygiene.

“Norovirus infection has been detected between the two children and their health condition is stable. There is no need to worry at the moment but everyone should be alert and keep clean,” Kerala Health Minister Bina George told PTI.

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Here are some common questions about norovirus:

  1. What is norovirus?
    Norovirus is an infectious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea after infection. Due to its effect on the body’s gastrointestinal system, the virus is also called stomach flu or stomach bug. Not just children, anyone can be infected with the norovirus. These viruses are notorious for spreading quickly through contaminated food and surfaces. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that anyone can get a norovirus infection more than once in a lifetime because there are different types of these viruses and one-to-one transmission does not protect against the rest. According to a research study, “Human norovirus, formerly known as Norwick virus, was first identified in stool samples collected during the outbreak of gastroenteritis in Norwich, OH, and was the first viral agent to cause gastroenteritis in 192. The disease was described as “winter vomiting” because of its seasonal tendency and the frequent vomiting of patients as an early symptom. “The virus was detected after an outbreak in 1968. At that time, 98% of infected people reported nausea, 92% vomiting, 58% abdominal cramps, 52% laziness, 38% diarrhea and 34% fever.
  2. How is norovirus spread?
    Norovirus is a contagious disease. If you have direct contact with someone infected with the virus, you are more likely to be infected. Also, eating or contaminating food contaminated by the virus, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the norovirus, and then touching or eating something from the same hand without washing your face can help the virus to reach your body. Foods that are grown or cut with contaminated water can also spread the virus.
  3. What are the symptoms of Norovirus ‘stomach bug’?
    Common symptoms of norovirus ‘stomach bug’ are: vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, chills, headache, muscle aches. Symptoms may appear within 12 hours of exposure to the virus and may return 1-2 days later.
  4. Can there be asymptomatic norovirus cases?
    Yes, there can be. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, people infected with the norovirus sometimes have no symptoms, but can still spread the virus to others.
  5. Can the virus have a weak effect on the body?
    Many people tend to recover within 1-2 days and have no long-term health complications. Dehydration is a major health risk during norovirus attacks. Young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems should not allow themselves to be dehydrated.
  6. How to prevent norovirus infection?
    Wash your hands regularly; Especially after using the bathroom, before eating, before cooking food and before serving food to someone. After each episode of vomiting and diarrhea, disinfect the whole family. Avoid eating seafood that is not cooked properly because contaminated water is one of the main causes of the spread of norovirus. Stay isolated for at least 3 days after your recovery.




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