Norovirus Infection: A Cause for Travelers' Concern?

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Reported outbreaks of norovirus infection on a cruise ships has left many would-be travelers worried about contracting the illness and wondering if they can prevent it. 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.

Norovirus is now the official name for the group of viruses that, for a time, were referred to as "Norwalk-like" viruses, after the original strain "Norwalk virus," which caused an outbreak of gastroenteritis in a school in Norwalk, Ohio, in 1968. Other names for this group of viruses have included caliciviruses (the virus family name) and small round structured viruses (SRSVs).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/19/2015

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