The Kerala Government has confirmed the spread of a new disease inflicted by Norovirus in Wayanad. 13 students of a veterinary college in Pookode, Vythiri, reported being affected by the virus. It is a contagious, animal-borne stomach bug that causes gastrointestinal issues. The symptoms can vary, right from diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting to body aches, and inflammation in the stomach and intestines.
Can You Get Affected By Norovirus?
Yes, anyone can get affected by it. However, the chances of the virus affecting a healthy individual are comparatively low to an elderly person, child, or people with a history of illnesses.
It can be spread through contaminated water, food, and infected persons. In fact, if you touch a contaminated surface and use your hands without thoroughly washing them, you will get affected by it. If you are close to the excrement and vomit of an infected person, the virus can spread to you too.
Veena George shared, “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.”
How To Keep Yourself Safe
If treated right with proper intervention, the virus can be cured. However, as precautionary means, you can keep safe by:
A) Washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. Always wash your hands before and after eating and using the toilet. People who work with cattle and animals should take this precautionary measure very seriously.
B) Rinse all your veggies and fruits thoroughly.
C) The Health Ministry has suggested the use of chlorine with bleaching powder in wells, tanks, and any water sources. It is advisable to use chlorinated water for domestic use and boiled water for drinking purposes.
D) Sea fish and shellfish such as crabs, prawns, mussels etc, needs to be washed and well-cooked before eating. Foods that are exposed for hours in the open should be avoided.
People who feel sick or are infected by Norovirus should stay at home and take rest for at least two days to monitor their symptoms. The health ministry’s guidelines have added that infected people can drink ORS and boiled water to overcome dehydration.
Here’s how to clean up after a person has been affected by the virus: