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Norovirus:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

 

Context:

In the wake of the detection of 13 norovirus cases in Kerala, Karnataka has sounded an alert in the bordering districts of Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada.

 

What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is a bug similar to the diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus.

  • It is a group of viruses that causes gastrointestinal illness.
  • It is the most common pathogen implicated in outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), according to the World Health Organization.

 

Symptoms:

Initial symptoms of Norovirus are vomiting and/or diarrhoea, which show up one or two days after exposure to the virus. Patients also feel nauseous, and suffer from abdominal pain, fever, headaches and bodyaches. In extreme cases, loss of fluids could lead to dehydration.

current affairs

 

Spread:

  • Disease outbreaks typically occur aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories, and other closed spaces.
  • Norovirus is highly contagious, and can be transmitted through contaminated food, water, and surfaces. The primary route is oral-faecal. One may get infected multiple times as the virus has different strains.
  • Norovirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can heat up to 60°C. Therefore, merely steaming food or chlorinating water does not kill the virus. The virus can also survive many common hand sanitisers.

 

What is the treatment for Norovirus?

The disease is self-limiting — the infection, even though it takes a lot out of the patient, normally lasts only two or three days, and most individuals who are not very young, very old, or malnourished can ride it out with sufficient rest and hydration.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Norovirus.
  2. The disease.
  3. Spread.
  4. Symptoms.
  5. Causes.
  6. Treatment.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Norovirus.

Sources: Indian Express.