Norovirus Infection

What are norovirus infection symptoms and signs in adults, children, and babies?

Most people get sick within one day of ingesting norovirus (range 12-48 hours) so the virus has a short incubation period. Symptoms and signs include vomiting, watery diarrhea, or both. Fever occurs in one-third to one-half of infected people. Cramping abdominal or stomach pain and a general feeling of tiredness, headache, and muscle aches are common.

Infected people are usually thirsty, although they may have trouble keeping fluids down. In general, if patients can orally ingest about the same amount of fluid they lose through diarrhea and vomiting, they will do well. Symptoms in adults may be different than symptoms in children. Young children and babies may not complain of thirst but may appear listless or lethargic as they become dehydrated. Symptoms may be more severe in debilitated, elderly patients or pregnant women. People who are unable to replace their fluids and develop signs of dehydration need medical care.

Most people have a mild illness that lasts two to three days. In contrast to bacterial diarrheas, such as those caused by Shigella or Campylobacter bacteria, norovirus does not cause blood or pus in the stool. The length of infection may be prolonged in patients who are in the hospital or in young children.

Norovirus has been associated with severe inflammation of the colon in newborns and with disease flares in children who have inflammatory bowel disease, but it is not yet clear what role norovirus plays in these conditions. Continue Reading

4/9
Reviewed on 10/28/2015
Healthy Living Pictures Slideshow: 10 Health Myths Debunked

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!