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
- Abdominal pain/cramps
- Low-grade fever