Multiple cases of norovirus found in India’s Kerala. Here’s all you need to know about the zoonotic disease
India’s southern Kerala state on Monday recorded two cases of norovirus— a gastrointestinal zoonotic disease that is transmitted through close contact who have already been infected.
According to PTI news agency, two students of Class 1 and 2 of a school at Kakkanad were found to be infected with the virus.
Following the detection of two cases, around 62 students of the school and a few parents developed similar symptoms after which two samples were sent for testing at the State Public Laboratory.
“The health condition of the children is stable. The Health Department personnel inspected the school which is now temporarily closed. We are holding online awareness sessions to the children and parents. The classrooms and the toilets have now been sanitised," the District Medical Officer said in a statement.
This is the second time that the state has reported norovirus outbreak. Last year, two children were found infected with the same virus at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram.
What is norovirus?
According to the World Health Organisation, norovirus is a viral illness which is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis globally with symptoms including acute onset diarrhoea and vomiting.
The virus is highly contagious and spreads through contaminated water, food and surfaces.
According to the state health department, initial symptoms include vomiting and/or diarrhoea, head and body aches.
Though the virus usually has mild effects on healthy people, it can cause severe abdominal illness in young children, the elderly, and people with other medical conditions.
The first case in Kerala was recorded in the Alappuzha district in June last year. In 2021, around 950 cases linked to norovirus were reported from the same locality and adjoining areas. The outbreak lasted for one-and-a-half months.