Photo: USDA

Norovirus infection is a type of stomach infection that is common in winter and can affect many people at once. It can come on quickly and make you feel very sick. Most people get better within 1-2 days.

There are usually no long-term health effects, but dehydration can sometimes happen due to vomiting and diarrhea. Young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to become dehydrated and need medical care.

Common Symptoms

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Stomach cramping
  • Low fever
  • Chills
  • Headache, muscle aches
  • A general sense of tiredness

How You Get It

Norovirus germs are found in an infected person's poop or vomit. You can get it by:

  • Eating food or drinking liquids that have norovirus germs
  • Touching a surface or object that has norovirus germs on it and then placing your hand in your mouth
  • Direct contact with someone who is sick with norovirus

How to Avoid It

  • Wash your hands often. Especially after visiting the toilet and changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables really well. Steam oysters before eating them.
  • Clean and disinfect dirty surfaces right away after illness. Use a fresh solution of 1 cup bleach in 1 gallon of water.
  • Remove and wash clothing or sheets right away if they have vomit or poop on them (use hot water and soap).
  • Flush or throw away any vomit or poop in the toilet. Then clean and disinfect the surrounding area.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.

If You Get Sick

  • Stay home from work or school
  • Drink extra liquids
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Do not prepare food for others while you have symptoms, and for 3 days after you've recovered

Resources

Schools and Child Care
Norovirus Disinfection Guidelines (537.71 KB)

Long-Term Care Facilities

Gastroenteritis Outbreak Toolkit (3.32 MB)
Gastroenteritis Case Log (128.42 KB)
Gastroenteritis Case Log (117.5 KB)
Outbreak Notice (23 KB)
Control Measures Report (682.85 KB)