What is Norovirus? What are its symptoms? What leads to norovirus?
Recently, two cases of norovirus have been found in Kerala, India. The Ernakulam school has been closed for three days to prevent the spread of norovirus. What is norovirus? Let’s know here.
What is norovirus?
Norovirus is a term used for a family of viruses that can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Just like all the viruses that have been disturbing mankind in recent years, norovirus too is highly contagious.
The viruses can pass on to healthy beings from infected people via contaminated surfaces or contaminated food. The virus is also called the winter vomiting bug.
Many people across the globe call norovirus “the stomach flu”. However, it is interesting to note that norovirus is not related to the regular flu (influenza) in any way.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), around 685 million cases of norovirus have been recorded every year globally. It is important to note that around 200 million of these 685 million cases are actually of children under the age of 5. The virus has been the culprit of around 200 deaths every year, out of which 50,000 are children. This implies that children are at a higher risk of the virus. Additionally, it has been observed that the casualties are higher in low-income nations.
Notable symptoms of Norovirus
Typically, the symptoms of norovirus last between 1 day to 72 hours. However, if the symptoms linger for a longer duration than that, one should prefer seeking medical attention without delay. One of the key symptoms of norovirus is blood in stools.
However, what makes the virus hard to deal with is that sometimes, the infected person may not experience any symptoms at all, making the situation quite complicated. Yet, this does not mean that the infected person cannot pass the virus to others.
Here are some key symptoms of norovirus:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Loose diarrhea
- Stomach aches and cramps
- Low levels of fever
- Muscle pain and cramps
- Feeling unwell from within
What leads to Norovirus? Causes of Norovirus!
The virus can infect people in not one but a myriad of ways.
First things first, close contact with infected people can lead to the spread of norovirus from infected to healthy persons.
Secondly, when one touches contaminated surfaces and then touches one’s mouth, the risk of getting infected gets higher. Moreover, intaking tainted water and food can also lead to norovirus infection.
What makes norovirus hard to fight is the fact that the virus is resistant to not only high temperatures but also to low temperatures. Moreover, the virus is also immune to multiple disinfectants. Not to miss, norovirus is responsible for the most common foodborne illness in the United States.
Cases of Norovirus in India
Recently on Monday, two confirmed cases of norovirus have been observed in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, as per the Kerala health department.
As per the department, the infected students were not adults but were actually two students from grade 1 in school. After an examination when the two students experienced symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, they tested positive for norovirus.
If we go by the reports, then 62 people, comprising both parents and students, have been facing symptoms of the virus. The symptoms include abdominal aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, temperature peaks, body pains, and headaches. No wonder the virus has aimed to spread widely in no time.