Amid two confirmed cases of the norovirus infection being reported from Kerala, the Union health ministry has asked the State Surveillance Office (SSO) to submit a detailed report in the matter, official sources said on Monday.
Norovirus is a viral illness that is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis globally. Symptoms of norovirus include acute onset diarrhoea and vomiting. Emerging evidence suggests that the norovirus infection is associated with intestinal inflammation, malnutrition and may cause long-term morbidity, an official explained.
Globally, an estimated 685 million (68.5 crore) cases of norovirus are seen annually, including 200 million (20 crore) cases amongst children under five years of age.
According to the official, the first documented norovirus outbreak in Kerala was reported in Alappuzha district in June last year. Around 950 cases of acute diarrhoeal diseases linked to norovirus were reported in 2021 from the Alappuzha municipality and nearby panchayats.
The outbreak lasted for a month and a half. "Though the outbreak was rapidly spreading, the disease was self-limiting and over 92 per cent of the patients required OPD care. The source of infection in Alappuzha was found to be contaminated water," the official said.
The southern state has reported two confirmed cases of norovirus in June this year among school-going children at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram. "The SSO, Kerala has been asked to submit a detailed report, which will be submitted shortly," the official added.
(With PTI inputs)