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The norovirus can also be passed on through contaminated food and water, if the person handling it has the virus, or gets faecal matter on the food or in a drink. Wikimedia Commons

A norovirus at the Pyeongchang Olympics means athletes might have more to worry about than just going for the gold.

More than 100 people have come down with the dreaded stomach bug, and South Korean Olympic organizers quarantined more than 1,000 workers after some tested positive for it.


The organizers called in police officers to take over from the quarantined workers after some tested positive for the norovirus, which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Dr Cynthia Sears, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, spoke to VOA by Skype.

Also Read: Daily Exercise May Boost Better Lung Function Among Smokers

“Norovirus is a virus that’s exceptionally contagious. It can be spread by simply touching surfaces,” she said.

Norovirus can survive for days or even weeks on a variety of surfaces. And, Sears says, it only takes a small amount of the virus to infect someone.


The virus spreads quickly between people, especially in close quarters like cruise ships and nursing homes. Wikimedia Commons

“It can be spread by vomiting because it can aerosolize to some extent. People can pick up enough that way,” she said. “It can be spread through the stool (faecal matter) if you accidentally get a few faeces on something.”

The virus spreads quickly between people, especially in close quarters like cruise ships and nursing homes. It can spread wherever there are crowds.

The norovirus can also be passed on through contaminated food and water, if the person handling it has the virus, or gets faecal matter on the food or in a drink.

Also Read: Pollution, the silent killer in metros; 35 per cent children in India have poor lung capacity

Symptoms normally last for a few days, but afterwards, the sickness causes fatigue.

The antidote is cleanliness. If food preparation surfaces are disinfected and the food is cooked thoroughly, the virus’s ability to survive is reduced.

The best defence is lots of handwashing and disinfecting any surfaces that might be contaminated, especially kitchens and bathrooms, and keeping your fingers away from your face. (VOA)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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