Bureau of Epidemiology
Bureau of Epidemiology
610 South 200 East #218
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Norovirus Fact Sheet
(Norwalk and Norwalk-like Virus)
Who gets Norovirus?
Norovirus (also known as Norwalk and Norwalk-like virus) is
- A viral infection
- A common cause of diarrhea and vomiting sickness in the United States.
Who gets Norovirus infection?
- Any person of any age group can become infected
- It occurs mainly in humans and is found in every part of the world.
- There are many strains of norovirus that makes it hard for the body to develop immunity to the virus.
How is Norovirus spread?
Norovirus is spread by:
- Infected people
- Contaminated food and water.
- The virus is found in stool and vomit.
You may get norovirus if you:
- Eat food or drink liquids that have been contaminated with Norovirus,
- Touch surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then place your hands in your mouth, or
- Have direct contact with another person who has the virus and has diarrhea or is vomiting.
What are the symptoms?
- Non-bloody diarrhea stomach cramps
- Low-grade fever may also occur.
- How soon after exposure do symptoms usually appear?
- Most people will begin to have symptoms within 1 to 2 days
- Some people may become ill as early as 10 hours or as late as 3 days.
How long do symptoms last?
- Persons with norovirus usually recover within 2 to 3 days without serious or long-term health effects.
- Even though the virus is easy to spread, serious illness rarely occurs.
What is the treatment?
- No specific treatment is available.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids.
- Rarely, people may become sick enough to go to the hospital.
- There is no vaccine available.
- Antibiotics should not be used.
- If I get it once, will I get it again?
- Norovirus infection only gives you short-term immunity.
- A person may get sick each time he/she comes in contact with the virus.
How can norovirus be prevented?
Here are ways to reduce your risk of getting or spreading the virus:
- Wash hands thoroughly after each toilet visit and before preparing food.
- Wash fruits and vegetables.
- Cook Shellfish such as oysters and clams before eating them.
- Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
- Remove and wash clothing or linens that are soiled with stool or vomit.
- Flush or discard any vomit and/or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean.
Where can I get more information?
- Your personal doctor
- The Salt Lake County Health Department (385) 468-4194 or (385) 468-3845
- The Utah Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology (801) 538-6191
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Or Visit these links: