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Kerala school shut down after norovirus outbreak

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The highly-contagious norovirus infection, that causes acute gastroenteritis, has been confirmed in two school students at Kakkanad near Kochi in Kerala. The school has been shut down temporarily.

The samples of the two students were sent for testing at the State Public Laboratory after 62 students and some parents of the schoolchildren showed symptoms. They have now been admitted to a hospital, while three other children are also undergoing treatment.

“The health condition of the children is stable. The Health Department personnel inspected the school which is now temporarily closed. We are holding online awareness sessions to the children and parents. The classrooms and the toilets have now been sanitised,” the District Medical Officer said in a statement.

The state’s Health Department said precautionary measures have been taken as the virus spreads through contaminated water and food. People have been urged to maintain hygiene.

It also said that the disease can be transmitted through contaminated food, water, and surfaces, adding that the initial symptoms are acute onset diarrhoea and vomiting accompanied by head and body aches.