A group of viruses cause this infection. They can spread through:
- Water that is not clean, such as lakes, swimming pools, wells, and water stored on cruise ships
- Raw or poorly steamed shellfish, such as clams and oysters
- Food and drinks made by food handlers with the infection who do not wash their hands well after using the bathroom
- Surfaces, such as a door knob
The viruses can also spread by being around someone who is sick.
A norovirus infection will go away on its own. The infection is often brief and mild.
Most people will get better by resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Oral rehydration solutions can help. These can be found in most drugstores. Rarely, you may need IV fluids if you have severe dehydration.
Antibiotics are not helpful against viruses. There are no antiviral medicines or vaccines used to fight or prevent this infection.
To help lower your chance of getting noroviruses:
- Wash your hands
well with soap and water:
- After using the bathroom
- After changing diapers
- Before you make or eat food.
- If you are caring for someone who is infected, make sure the person washes his or her hands very well.
- If you are ill or caring for someone who is ill, clean contaminated surfaces right away using bleach cleaner. Remove and wash soiled linens. Use hot water and soap.
- Wash fruits and vegetables.
- Cook oysters and clams before eating them.
- Throw away contaminated food.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Acute Nonbacterial Gastroenteritis; Caliciviruses; Food Infection; Norwalk Virus; Norwalk-like Virus; Small Round Structure Viruses [SMRVs]; Stomach Flu; Viral Gastroenteritis)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
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Norovirus infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114466/Norovirus-infection . Updated July 31, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.
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