Recently, a highly contagious virus named Norovirus has been detected in Kerala.
- It is a group of viruses that leads to gastrointestinal illness.
- It causes inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines, in addition to severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Norovirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can 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.
- A person can be infected with different varieties of norovirus several times in their lives, but developing immunity to one type doesn’t provide protection against other varieties.
- The virus can be transferred from an infected to a healthy individual through contaminated surfaces or food.
- The virus can primarily be transmitted from oral-faecal.
- Disease outbreaks typically occur aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories, and other closed spaces.
- Vulnerable Group:
- The virus can affect people across all age groups but is known to cause serious symptoms in children, the elderly and people with comorbidities.
- Diarrhoea, Vomiting, Stomach ache, Gastrointestinal problems etc are the symptoms.
- While there is no specific treatment available to cure the virus, generic medications for diarrhoea and vomiting can help cure the disease.
- There are 685 million cases annually, of which 200 million are detected among children younger than five years.
- Nearly 50,000 children die every year due to diarrhoea caused by the virus.