Norovirus is a virus that causes the "stomach flu," or vomiting and diarrhea. Norovirus illness usually begins 24-48 hours after exposure, but can appear as early as 10 hours after exposure. The illness is usually brief with symptoms lasting only one or two days.
- Stomach cramping
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle aches
How is norovirus spread?
Noroviruses are very contagious and spread easily from person to person. The virus is found in the stool and vomit of infected people. People can become infected in several ways:
- Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated by infected food handlers
- Touching surfaces or objects that are contaminated and then touching your mouth or face
- Direct contact with another person who is infected and then touching your mouth or face
Currently, there is no specific medication or vaccine for norovirus. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics. By drinking plenty of liquids, such as juice or water, people can reduce their chance of becoming dehydrated. Sports drinks may help with mild dehydration but may not replace important nutrients and minerals.