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Current Affairs 2023

Norovirus - UPSC Current Affairs

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It can spread easily through direct contact, contaminated food and water, and contaminated surfaces. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, high temperature, headache, and body aches. Good hand hygiene is the best way to prevent infection.

Jan 26, 2023

3 min read

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. This virus can affect people of all ages and is easily spread through direct contact with an infected person, consumption of contaminated food or water, and touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth. Unlike the flu, which is caused by the influenza virus, norovirus is not related to the flu and is sometimes referred to as the stomach flu or stomach bug.




Norovirus is not new and has been circulating among humans for over 50 years, and it is one of the primary causes of gastroenteritis. The virus is estimated to kill 200,000 persons globally every year, with most deaths occurring among those below the age of five years and those over the age of 65 years. The virus is capable of surviving low temperatures, and outbreaks tend to be more common during the winter and in colder countries.


In India, cases of norovirus are not as common as in many other places, however, the recent cases in Kerala are by no means unique or one-offs. The infection has been reported in previous years, mainly from Southern India, and especially from Kerala.


The best way to prevent norovirus infection is through good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Hands sanitisers are thought to not work too well against norovirus. As the infection can be transmitted by foods, it is suggested that a sick person not prepare food for others. All food items should be carefully washed and cooked at high temperatures. The norovirus can survive temperatures as high as 60 degrees Celsius. Areas where a sick person has vomited or had diarrhoea should be cleaned using disinfectants or bleach.


Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. To prevent the spread of the infection, it's important to practice good hygiene and avoid contact with infected individuals. If you do get infected, it's important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Despite the increase in cases of norovirus, experts say that it is unlikely to lead to a large-scale outbreak. The spread of the infection is self-limiting and is considered an individual problem, not a public health one.


Based on inputs from Centre for Disease Control and Prevention; and Indian Express

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