Norovirus: Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Friday asked people to be vigilant after Norovirus, an animal-borne disease transmitted through contaminated water and food, was confirmed in Wayanad district. 

“Currently there is no cause for concern but everyone should be vigilant. Activities including super chlorination are underway. Drinking water sources need to be ensured to be hygienic,” the minister said

George said with proper prevention and treatment, the disease can be cured quickly. “Therefore, everyone should be aware of the disease and its means of prevention,” she added.

Norovirus

Norovirus are a group of viruses that cause gastrointestinal illness. It causes inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines, as well as severe vomiting and diarrhoea. 

The virus does not significantly affect healthy people, but it can be serious in young children, the elderly, and those with other comorbidities. It can also be spread through direct contact with infected individuals.

Norovirus is spread through the excrement and vomit of an infected person. Therefore, it is essential to be careful as the disease spreads very quickly.

However, the virus can be spread for up to two days after the onset of the disease. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of Norovirus include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, fever, headache, and body aches. Acute vomiting and diarrhoea can lead to dehydration and further complications.

The state health minister today issued a guidelines for prevention of spreads of Norovirus. As per the guidelines, the infected people should rest at home and should drink ORS solution and boiled water.

People should take proper care of their immediate environmental hygiene and personal hygiene. “Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating and after using the toilet. Those who interact with animals should pay special attention,” the guidelines read.

“Chlorinate drinking water sources, wells and storage tanks with bleaching powder. Use chlorinated water for domestic use. Use only boiled water for drinking,” it added.

Fruits and vegetables should only be used after they have been thoroughly washed. Sea fish and shellfish such as crab and mussels must only be consumed after they are well cooked, the guidelines said.

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