Norovirus / Estonia – Facts for Prelims


  • Noroviruses are a group of viruses (previously known as Norwalk-like viruses) that can cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
  • As per the World Health Organisation, norovirus is a viral illness that is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis globally. It is commonly referred to as ‘food poisoning’ or a ‘stomach bug‘. Norovirus is highly contagious.  
  • Symptoms of norovirus include acute onset diarrhea and vomiting. The illness often begins suddenly and one may feel very sick, with stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. The infection is associated with intestinal inflammation, and malnutrition and may cause long-term morbidity.
  • An estimated 685 million cases of norovirus are seen annually, including 200 million cases amongst children under 5, the WHO said. The infection causes an estimated 200,000 deaths per year, including 50,000 child deaths, primarily impacting low-income countries.
  •  Norovirus has been estimated to cost $60 billion globally as a result of healthcare costs and economic losses, the global health institution said.


  • Estonia, formally the Republic of Estonia, is a country by the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe.
  • It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland to the west by the sea across from Sweden to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia.  
  • The territory of Estonia consists of the mainland, the larger islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, and over 2,200 other islands and islets on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,339 square kilometers (17,505 sq mi).
  • The capital city Tallinn and Tartu are the two largest urban areas of the country. The Estonian language is the autochthonous and the official language of Estonia; it is the first language of most of its population, as well as the world’s second-most-spoken Finnic language.
  • Recently The Estonian ambassador in Russia has been ordered to leave the country by 7 February after the Kremlin accused the country of “Russophobia”.

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