Table of Contents
- Norovirus infection facts
- What is a norovirus?
- What causes a norovirus infection? How are norovirus infections transmitted?
- What are norovirus infection symptoms and signs in adults, children, and babies?
- What is the incubation period for a norovirus infection? How long are people infected with norovirus contagious?
- How is a norovirus infection diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for norovirus infections in adults, children, and babies?
- What are possible complications of a norovirus infection?
- What is the prognosis of a norovirus infection?
- Is it possible to prevent norovirus infections? Is there a norovirus vaccine?
- Where can people get more information about norovirus infections?
Quick Guide10 Health Myths Debunked With Pictures
What is the incubation period for a norovirus infection? How long are people infected with norovirus contagious?
Norovirus may have a prolonged infection period that starts even before someone gets sick. There is a short lag or incubation period (up to two days) between the time that people acquire the virus and the time they get symptoms. People may be contagious during this period. All people are contagious while they are having symptoms or showing signs.
Although the most contagious period is over when the patient's symptoms resolve, even some people who appear to have recovered completely after a norovirus infection may continue to shed the virus for weeks in their stool and may be a source of infection to others. People with compromised immune systems (for example, those receiving chemotherapy or undergoing organ transplant) may shed the virus for months. However, in general, most individuals become noncontagious about 72 hours after symptoms have resolved. Consequently, although it may be difficult for parents to do so, children and adults should not go back to school, day care, or work until they have been symptom-free for three days.
Glass, R.I., U.D. Parashar, and M.K. Estes. "Norovirus Gastroenteritis." N Engl J Med 361 (2009): 1776-1785.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Updated Norovirus Outbreak Management and Disease Prevention Guidelines." MMWR Recomm Rep 60.RR-3 (2011): 1-20.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Norovirus." Sept. 30, 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Norovirus: NoroSTAT Data." May 29, 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/reporting/norostat/