Norovirus Infection


Norovirus infection often brings about a sudden onset of intense vomiting and diarrhea. These viruses spread easily and are commonly transmitted through contaminated food or water during preparation, as well as via contaminated surfaces. Close contact with an infected individual can also facilitate transmission.

Typically, symptoms like diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting appear 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Norovirus infection symptoms typically last for 1 to 3 days. While most people recover fully without treatment, severe dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea may require medical attention, especially for young children, older adults, and those with underlying medical conditions.

Norovirus infection is frequently seen in enclosed and densely populated environments, such as hospitals, nursing homes, childcare facilities, schools.


Symptoms of norovirus infection can appear abruptly and may include:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Loose or watery stool
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle ache
  • Feeling sick

Typically, signs and symptoms emerge 12 to 48 hours following initial exposure to a norovirus and typically persist for 1 to 3 days. Even after recovery, virus shedding in stool can continue for several weeks. For individuals with underlying medical conditions, this shedding may extend for weeks to months.

It’s important to note that some individuals infected with norovirus may not show any visible signs or symptoms. However, they can still spread the virus to others. If you experience diarrhea lasting several days, it’s recommended to seek medical assistance. Furthermore, consult your doctor if you encounter severe vomiting, bloody stools, stomach pain, or signs of dehydration.


Noroviruses are highly contagious, making it easy for the infection to spread to others. The virus is shed in stool and vomit, allowing for transmission from the onset of symptoms until several days after recovery. Noroviruses can linger on surfaces and objects for days or even weeks.

Ways you can contract norovirus infection include:

  • Consuming contaminated food or drinks.
  • Coming into close touch with an infected individual.
  • Touching your hand to your mouth after it has come into contact with a contaminated surface or object.

Noroviruses are resilient and challenging to eradicate because they can endure both hot and cold temperatures, as well as many disinfectants.

Risk factors

Factors that increase the risk of contracting a norovirus include:

  • Consuming food that has come into contact with contaminated water or surfaces, or that has been handled by someone who is infected with the norovirus
  • Attending daycare centers or preschools.
  • Living in close quarters, including in nursing homes.
  • Visiting hotels, resorts, cruise ships, or other locations where a large number of people congregate in close quarters.
  • Coming into contact with a person who is infected with the norovirus.