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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.
  • The virus can affect people across all age groups but is known to cause serious symptoms in children, the elderly and people with comorbidities.
  • Symptoms:
    • Diarrhoea, Vomiting, Stomach ache, Gastrointestinal problems etc are the symptoms.
  • Treatment:
    • While there is no specific treatment available to cure the virus, generic medications for diarrhoea and vomiting can help cure the disease.
  • Status:
    • 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.