Sunday June 16, 2019

Stomach Virus Creates Headache for Olympic Officials

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

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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
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.

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“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
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.

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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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Assam Launches Campaign to Control Diarrhoea Across the State

Diarrhoea can be prevented with safe drinking water, sanitation, proper breastfeeding/appropriate nutrition and hand-washing

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Similarly, the total quantity of tea exports during the 2017-18 fiscal increased by 28.94 million kg or 12.71 per cent as compared to the last corresponding period. The tea exports stood at 227.63 million kg in 2016-17.
Tea Garden in India, wikimedia commons

The National Health Mission, Assam on Tuesday launched the Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) campaign and will be targeting at least 34 lakh children across the state.

The fortnight will be observed from May 28 to June 9 this year, officials said on Tuesday, adding the IDCF was launched and observed across the state by district health societies and block level units at all health institutes.

During this fortnight campaign, frontline health workers and other departments stakeholders will be sensitized to prioritize investment in control of diarrhoea, one of the most common childhood illnesses. It aims to create mass awareness about the most scientific, effective and economic diarrhoea treatment” a combination of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) solution and zinc tablets, officials said.

Woman plucking tea in a tea plantation of Assam.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Intensified community awareness activities on hygiene and promotion of ORS and zinc therapy for treatment of diarrhea will be conducted at state, district and village levels. More than 34 lakh cildren will be targeted in this fortnight campaign,” said an official.

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It may be mentioned here that almost all the deaths due to diarrhoea can be averted by preventing and treating dehydration by use of ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) and administration of zinc tablets along with adequate nutritional intake by the child.

Diarrhoea can be prevented with safe drinking water, sanitation, proper breastfeeding/appropriate nutrition and hand-washing. (IANS)