Norovirus outbreak in Wayanad: water sources at hostels under the scanner

Veterinary college students among affected

November 12, 2021 07:58 pm | Updated 07:58 pm IST - KALPETTA

District Collector A. Geetha has directed officials concerned to clean water sources at hostels under various departments, private institutions, and residential schools for tribal children in the wake of the Norovirus outbreak in Wayanad. Ms. Geetha has also directed the officials of local bodies and the Health Department to collect and test water samples from the institutions, if needed, and adopt necessary action.

About 1,000 cases of acute diarrhoeal disease were reported in the district in October-November, District Surveillance Officer Savan Sara Mathew told The Hindu . But, most of them were sporadic. A major outbreak affecting 76 persons was reported at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Pookode, said Dr. Mathew.

When many instances of diarrhoeal disease were reported among students living in hostels, the Health Department sent seven stool samples for testing at the National Virology Institute, Alappuzha, by the first week of November. Four of the seven samples tested positive for the virus, she said.

Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) Vice Chancellor M.R. Saseendranath said the cases were reported only among students who lived in a private hostel outside the campus. It was suspected that those students had consumed fast food from some restaurants in a nearby town, he added.

All water sources on the campus were super chlorinated. All hostels were told to maintain hygiene as per the directions issued by the Health and Food Safety departments after some incidents of food poisoning were reported from the hostels on the campus a few weeks ago, he said.

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