19 students have reportedly tested positive for Norovirus in Kerala’s Ernakulam region. Besides students, even parents have tested positive in a few cases. As a result of increasing cases, online classes have been introduced for students from Class 1 to Class 5.
Medical officials stated that over 62 students and a few parents had shown the symptoms of the virus. This is not the first time the virus has made its way through Kerala. Last year two children were found to be infected with Norovirus at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram.
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is not an independent virus but a term used for the family of viruses. These viruses can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea. The reason for the scare regarding the virus is the highly contagious value of the same.
Also known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus can travel in the body of a healthy person from an infected person through contaminated surfaces or contaminated food. Norovirus is referred to as “The Stomach Flu” across the world.
What does WHO say about the virus?
According to a directive released by the World Health Organisation, over 68.5 crore people get infected by the virus on an annual basis. Out of the total number, over 30 % of the total patients are under the age of 5. Besides getting infected, the rate of death among children due to the virus is higher as compared to adults. WHO also stated that the percentage of casualties is much higher in low-income countries.
Although more dangerous in underdeveloped countries, the extent of this virus in the US is no less harmful. According to the national health agency of the US, norovirus is the leading cause of vomiting and diarrhoea from acute gastroenteritis among people of all ages in America. In the United States alone, most norovirus outbreaks happen from November to April.
Symptoms of Norovirus
Some of the common symptoms of Norovirus include low degrees of fever, cramps, and muscle pain. The symptoms which are extremely common last between one day to three days. However, if the symptoms last for longer the patient is suggested to seek medical help. Besides the above-mentioned symptoms, blood in stool is also a key factor that indicates the presence of norovirus.
The tricky aspect about the symptoms of this virus is the fact that it might not be there all the time. Thus keeping a check on the health regularly is the best way to tackle the virus.