Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with norovirus. You can get norovirus from:
- Having direct contact with an infected person
- Consuming contaminated food or water
- Touching contaminated surfaces then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth
The most common symptoms are:
- Stomach pain
Protect yourself and others from norovirus:
- Wash your hands often
- Rinse fruits and vegetables
- Cook shellfish thoroughly
- Stay home when sick and for two days after symptoms stop
- Avoid preparing food for others when sick and for two days after symptoms stop
Norovirus outbreaks are common. This is because the virus spreads very easily and quickly from infected people to others, and through contaminated foods and surfaces. Outbreaks happen throughout the year, but they occur most often from November to April.
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You may hear norovirus illness be called “food poisoning”, “stomach flu”, or “stomach bug.” Noroviruses are the leading cause of foodborne illness. But, other germs and chemicals can also cause foodborne illness.
Norovirus illness is not related to the flu, which is caused by influenza virus.