Norovirus – Symptoms, Causes & Cure

Norovirus, better known as the stomach bug or winter vomiting bug has been back in the news recently. The latest outbreak was at Tacoma senior community which infected over 40 staff and residents in the past few days.

So, what is Norovirus, what are its symptoms, how is it transmitted, and is there a cure, let’s find out.


What Is Norovirus?

According to the CDC, 19-21 million cases of Norovirus are reported on average per year in the United States. This high number is due to this virus being very contagious and capable of staying active even after the patient feels better. There are different types of Norovirus which is an illness that can be classified as acute gastroenteritis.

Unfortunately, because there are different types of Norovirus, you can get infected multiple types in your life with various strands. This virus is found to be more common during winter which can cause to be quite miserable for a few days with a quick recovery soon after. Fortunately, while Norovirus is highly contagious, it’s usually not deadly or harmful.

The Symptoms Of Norovirus:

Since Norovirus is caused when the intestines or stomach are inflamed, you could experience the following symptoms if you have this virus:

  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Body aches
  • Throwing up
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea


If you are exposed to Norovirus, you will typically show symptoms after 12 to 48 hours with most people being sick for 1-3 days. The most common symptoms include throwing up and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration.

This is something that you should keep an eye out for and prevent by staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water. If you are unaware of the symptoms of dehydration, they include having a dry mouth or throat, dizziness when suddenly standing up and a reduction in urination.

What Can Cause Norovirus?

Norovirus is a fast-spreading virus that is easily transmitted by touch. You should be aware that if one type of Norovirus has infected you, you may still be vulnerable to other strands of Norovirus.

It is known that this virus can be found in feces (stool) from before you feel sick to more than two weeks after you feel better. Those who are sick with Norovirus or those who have just recovered from the virus are the most contagious to spread Norovirus.

If you get stool or vomit from those who are infected with Norovirus on your hand and touch your mouth, you could get infected. This usually happens when:

  • You touch items that are contaminated and touch your mouth.
  • You eat contaminated foods or drink contaminated liquids.
  • You have close interactions with an infected person.

The most common places that Norovirus is spread include schools, daycares, and nursing homes with most cases being reported between November and April.

The Cure For Norovirus:

Unfortunately, scientists haven’t found a cure for Norovirus. The best way to deal with this virus is to keep drinking water to prevent dehydration and avoid spreading the illness to others while you are sick.

Sports drinks are also a good idea and can help prevent mild dehydration, but if you or someone close to you is showing symptoms of severe dehydration, you should call your doctor. This is because there may be a need for getting fluids through the veins to keep up with the dehydrating vomiting and diarrhea via intravenous or IV fluids.

We hope that this information on Norovirus can help you and your family stay healthy this festive time.

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