Nearly 52 students in Kerala's Thrissur suspected to be positive for the Norovirus

Earlier this month, at least 13 people were found to be infected with the Norovirus in the state's Wayanad district. The patients — in this case as well — were students
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: Express
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: Express

The Norovirus infection has been suspected in 52 students in the hostel of St Mary’s College in Thrissur. Health officials believe that the infection must have possibly spread through the food or drinking water distributed in the hostel, The Hindu reported.

The infected students have been consulting with doctors for symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and fever since November 8, according to the college authorities. However, none suspected it to be a Norovirus infection. The health officials only noticed it when a group of students of the college went to Thrissur General Hospital recently to seek treatment. 

While the samples are being sent to the virology laboratory in Alappuzha, the Ernakulam District Medical Officer, NK Kuttappan, reportedly said that official confirmation of a Norovirus infection is yet to come. The health department has taken sufficient precautions to check the spread of the infection, Kuttappan said.

Word of caution
College authorities have been asked not to send students back home as the virus can spread from person to person. However, the health department suspects that some of the students, who had the symptoms earlier, have gone back home. The department has asked the hostel authorities to alert students and their families. The health officials have urged people not to panic and be careful. The results from the virology laboratory are expected soon.

Previous history of infections
This is the first time the Norovirus infection has been reported from Thrissur. However, earlier this month, at least 13 people were found to be infected with this virus in the state's Wayanad district. The patients, in this case as well, were students of a veterinary college.

According to available information, the Norovirus is a highly contagious virus and spreads through contaminated food, water and surfaces. 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 comorbidities may have to take medical support.

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