Last updated: October 31, 2017

What Does Norovirus Mean?

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in people. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach and small intestines that causes an acute onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Safeopedia Explains Norovirus

Norovirus illness is transmitted through direct contact with infected people or by touching contaminated surfaces. The illness is highly contagious, albeit brief in people who are otherwise healthy.

Norovirus infections spread rapidly, especially in environments where there are a lot of people working or living together. Healthcare facilities and other institutional settings (e.g. daycare centers, schools, factories, etc.) are at high risk of outbreaks because of increased person-to-person contact.

In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, noroviruses are known to cause acute pain, headache, and chills. If not treated, this can lead to dehydration. As people in institutional settings and healthcare facilities are at higher risk of contracting noroviruses, they are advised to stick to hand-hygiene guidelines to decrease the chance of coming in contact with the viral agent.


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