Norovirus Infection

Norovirus infection facts

  • Norovirus is a small virus that is highly contagious among humans.
  • People acquire the virus by ingesting material contaminated with small amounts of infected feces or fluids. Food and water may be contaminated during processing or handling.
  • Noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States.
  • Signs and symptoms of a norovirus infection include
  • The illness usually lasts two to three days and resolves by itself.
  • There is no specific treatment for norovirus, but it is important that infected people stay well hydrated. Fluids containing sugar and electrolytes should be encouraged. Intravenous fluids may be needed if the person cannot maintain an adequate oral intake of fluids.
  • Complications are usually related to the degree of dehydration. Young children and the elderly are at special risk for dehydration.
  • Because the disease is highly contagious, it is important for caretakers to clean their hands whenever they come into contact with the ill person or their environment.
  • The risk of food-borne outbreaks or outbreaks within hospitals or nursing homes may be minimized by following established standards that include hand hygiene; soap and water are advised, as alcohol-based hand cleaners are not very effective against noroviruses. Continue Reading
Learn why outbreaks of norovirus infection (stomach flu) seem to happen so frequently on cruise ships.

Norovirus Infection: A Cause for Travelers' Concern?

Many people may not be familiar with the term norovirus, but it's actually a relatively new term for an old disease. The many strains of noroviruses cause a self-limited gastrointestinal illness that many refer to as the "stomach flu." Outbreaks of norovirus infection have also been documented as coming from restaurants, schools, and nursing homes.

Reviewed on 10/28/2015
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