What is norovirus?
Officials recently approved the name norovirus for the group of viruses that cause the "stomach flu" or gastroenteritis (pronounced GAS-tro-en-terI-tis). Norovirus is not the same as the flu (or influenza) caused by the influenza virus.
How does norovirus spread?
Norovirus can be very contagious. It spreads easily from person to person. You can become infected with norovirus by eating food, drinking liquids or touching objects contaminated with norovirus. Coming in direct contact with a person infected with norovirus or a person showing symptoms of norovirus can also put you at risk. Particular care should be taken with young children in diapers with diarrhea.
What are the symptoms of norovirus?
Symptoms of norovirus illness begin about 24 to 48 hours after ingestion of the virus but can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure. Most people get better within one or two days. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and some stomach cramping. Additionally, many people experience low-grade fever, chills, headcahe, muscle aches and a sense of tiredness. No vaccine or antiviral medication works against norovirus.
How can I protect myself from norovirus?
To decrease your chances of contracting norovirus:
*Information from South Dakota Department of Health Norovirus News: http://www.southdakota.us/news/showDoc.aspx?i=8004 and Centers for Disease Control (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/norovirus.htm