Norovirus infection has been suspected for 52 students in the hostel of St. Mary’s College, Thrissur. Health officials suspect that the infection must have spread through the food or drinking water distributed in the hostel.
Students have been consulting with the doctors for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and fever since November 8, according to the college authorities. But nobody suspected it as norovirus infection.
The health officials noticed it when a group of students of the college went for treatment at Thrissur General Hospital recently. They sent the samples to the Virology laboratory in Alappuzha.
The official confirmation is yet to come, said DMO N.K. Kuttappan.
Health department has taken sufficient precautions to check the spread of the infection, he said. College authorities have been asked not to send students to their homes.
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.
It is suspected some of the students, who had the symptoms earlier had gone to their house. The health department has asked the hostel authorities to alert them.
This is the first time Norovirus infection has been reported from Thrissur. The result from the virology laboratory is expected on Sunday night or Monday.
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, infants, elderly people and people with some diseases may have to take medical support.