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Norovirus Infection

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by Stahl RJ

(Acute Nonbacterial Gastroenteritis; Caliciviruses; Food Infection; Norwalk Virus; Norwalk-like Virus; Small Round Structure Viruses [SMRVs]; Stomach Flu; Viral Gastroenteritis)



If you have any of these do not assume it is due to norovirus. These may be caused by other health conditions. Symptoms may include:
Symptoms often appear within 24-48 hours of exposure to the virus. Symptoms often last about 24-60 hours.


To help reduce your chance of getting or passing noroviruses take the following steps:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water:
    • After using the bathroom
    • After changing diapers
    • Before preparing or eating food.
  • If you are caring for someone who is infected, make sure the person thoroughly washes his or her hands.
  • If you are ill or caring for someone who is ill, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces using bleach cleaner. Remove and wash soiled linens. Use hot water and soap.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook oysters and clams before eating them.
  • Do not prepare food if you have symptoms. Wait three days after you have recovered before handling food again.
  • Throw away contaminated food.
  • If you are sick, do not attend work until symptoms have passed.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases



Communicable Disease Control Unit

Health Canada



Norovirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Updated April 12, 2012. Accessed February 20, 2013.

Norovirus infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated January 25, 2013. Accessed February 20, 2013.

Norovirus illness: Key facts: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Accessed February 20, 2013.

Phillips G, Tam CC, Rodrigues LC, Lopman B. Risk factors for symptomatic and asymptomatic norovirus infection in the community. Epidemiol Infect. 2010 Dec 17:1-11.

Scallan E, Hoekstra RM, Angulo FJ, Tauxe RV, Widdowson MA, Roy SL, Jones JL, Griffin PM. Foodborne illness acquired in the United States-major pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(1):7-15.


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