57 norovirus cases confirmed in Thrissur

Norovirus infection has been confirmed in 57 people, including 54 students and three workers, in the hostel of St. Mary’s College, Thrissur.

Health officials suspect that the infection might have spread through food or drinking water distributed in the hostel.

At present, there are 240 students and 15 workers in the hostel. A team of health officials led by the district medical officer (DMO) N.K. Kuttappan examined the hostel and surroundings, the kitchen and drinking water supply.

Students have been complaining about symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and fever from November 8, according to the college authorities. But nobody suspected it as norovirus infection.

Eight students went for treatment at the Thrissur General Hospital on November 24. Their blood, faeces and urine samples were tested for bacteria and virus. Norovirus infection was confirmed in the tests done at the virology laboratory in Alappuzha.

The health team conducted an awareness programme for students and workers of the college and gave instruction for taking preventive measures. The Health Department has taken sufficient precautions to check the spread of the infection, the DMO said.

The college authorities have been asked not to send students to their homes until the virus infection is totally cured. It is suspected that some of the students, who had symptoms earlier had gone to their houses. The Health Department has asked the hostel authorities to alert them.

Health officials told the people not to panic. As it is a virus that can spread from human beings to other human beings, people should be careful, they said.

People have been asked to drink only boiled water. Hands should be washed properly after using the washroom. Vegetables and fruits should be washed properly before using, do not share food or vessels.

The DMO has asked the medical team to monitor hostels, old age homes and migrant labour camps in the district. This is the first time norovirus infection has been reported from Thrissur.

According to available information, norovirus is a highly contagious virus and spreads through contaminated food, water and surfaces. Close contact with the infected person too can spread the virus. Infection usually occurs in closed and crowded environments.

Though in most cases, infection lasts for only two or three days, pregnant women, infants, elderly people and people with low immunity may have to take medical support.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 5:13:51 PM |

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