Health Minister Veena George said in a statement that while it would have a mild impact on healthy people, it can have a severe impact on those with comorbidities, children and the elderly.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George wearing a sari and looking into the camera
news Norovirus Friday, November 12, 2021 - 20:38

A day after Norovirus cases were confirmed in Wayanad district, the Kerala government on Friday, November 12, said people need to be vigilant about the very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. The rare norovirus infection was reported in some 13 students of a veterinary college in Pookode near Vythiri in Wayanad district two weeks ago.

Health authorities said that though things have been brought under control and no further spread is reported, they are preparing a data bank of the students of the veterinary science college besides holding an awareness class as part of preventive measures. Veterinary college authorities said the infection was first found in students living in hostels outside the campus. The health authorities were quick to collect samples and sent them to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Alappuzha for testing.

State health minister Veena George chaired a meeting of the health officials in Thiruvananthapuram and took stock of the situation in Wayanad. According to a health department release, the minister directed the officials to intensify activities to prevent the spread of the virus.

Currently there is no cause for concern but everyone should be vigilant, it said. Officials said preventive activities including super chlorination of water sources are underway.

Drinking water sources need to be hygienic and with proper prevention and treatment, the disease can be cured quickly. Everyone should be aware of the disease and its means of prevention, they said.

Nora viruses are a group of viruses that cause stomach related ailments including severe vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, fever, body pain and headache, according to Kerala Health Minister Veena George. In a statement she said, “Though it would have mild impact on healthy people, it can have severe impact on those with comorbidities, children and elderly.”

Norovirus is a disease spread from animals. It's spread through contaminated water and food and also through direct contact with the patients.