APSD Safety Theme for February

NOROVIRUS - The Stomach Bug

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus. Norovirus infection causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). This leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Norovirus illness is often called by other names, such as food poisoning and stomach flu. Noroviruses can cause food poisoning, as can other germs and chemicals. Norovirus illness is not related to the flu (influenza). Though they share some of the same symptoms, the flu is a respiratoryillness caused by influenza virus.

Anyone can get norovirus illness
  • Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S.

  • Each year, norovirus causes 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S.

  • There are many types of norovirus and you can get it more than once.


Norovirus illness can be serious
  • Norovirus illness can make you feel extremely sick with diarrhea and vomiting many times a day.

  • Some people may get severely dehydrated, especially young children, the elderly, and people with other illnesses.

  • Each year, norovirus causes 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths, mostly in young children and the elderly.

Norovirus spreads very easily and quickly
  • It only takes a very small amount of norovirus particles (fewer than 100) to make you sick.

  • People with norovirus illness shed billions of virus particles in their stool and vomit and can easily infect others.

  • You are contagious from the moment you begin feeling sick and for the first few days after you recover.

  • Norovirus can spread quickly in enclosed places like daycare centers, nursing homes, schools, and cruise ships.

  • Norovirus can stay on objects and surfaces and still infect people for days or weeks.

  • Norovirus can survive some disinfectants, making it hard to get rid of.

Norovirus can spread in many ways

Norovirus can spread to others by—

  • having direct contact with an infected person, for example, touching an infected person while caring for them,

  • eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus,

  • touching objects that have norovirus on them and then putting your fingers in your mouth, for example, touching a countertop that has vomit droplets on it and then putting your fingers in your mouth and

  • sharing utensils or cups with people who are infected with norovirus.

There’s no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection and no drug to treat it
  • Antibiotics will not help with norovirus illness because antibiotics do not work on viruses.

  • When you have norovirus illness, drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid loss and prevent dehydration.

  • If you or someone you are caring for is dehydrated, call a doctor.


Please contact Mr. Lew Griffin with any questions, concerns or applause.