Norovirus

Norovirus

PUBLIC HEALTH FACTSHEET

What is Norovirus?
It is a common water and foodborne viral illness that can occur in all age groups.

How is it spread?

  • The virus may be spread through the fecal-oral route when food is contaminated by servers who prepare or handle food, who have not properly washed their hands.
  • Contamination of food can also occur when sewage pollutes the waters where shellfish grow (clams, oysters).
  • Foods commonly contaminated include: raw shellfish, prepared green salads, frostings, pastry filling, fruits, deviled eggs, prepared sandwiches.
  • The virus is spread during the acute stage of the illness and up to 48 hours after diarrhea stops.

How is it treated?

  • Usually the only treatment is to replace fluids lost. Dehydration may occur if fluid loss from vomiting and diarrhea is prolonged, requiring a doctor’s attention.

How is it prevented?

  • Practice good personal hygiene and hand washing.
  • Use safe food and water supplies.
  • Cook foods thoroughly.
  • Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before serving.

SYMPTOMS OF NOROVIRUS
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain/cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Headache