Infection norovirus (norwalk virus)

Abdomen | Allergy & Immunology | Infection norovirus (norwalk virus) (Disease)


Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that cause acute gastrointestinal illness sporadically or in outbreaks. Noroviruses are sometimes referred to as Norwalk virus or Norwalk-like virus, based on the name given to the first strain identified in the 1970s.

The most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Diarrhea may occasionally accompany vomiting. Fever is usually low grade or absent.

Causes and Risk factors

The virus is present in feces and vomit of infected people. Ways that can infect a person are: direct contact with another infected person with symptoms; consumption of food or beverages contaminated with the virus. Food can become contagious through their handling of the sick with norovirus, especially if not kept proper hygiene (hands must be washed before they reach the food) or by including the menu of food (fish, fruit, vegetables) that have been contaminated at source; achievement of surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and contaminated fingers in their mouth (babies can get sick if you touch contaminated toys and then put fingers in mouth).

Norovirus is very contagious and can spread rapidly. Like the common cold, norovirus has different strains, making it difficult for a persons body develop a lasting immunity. Thus, norovirus infection can recur several times during a persons life. In addition, some people are more likely to become infected and develop more serious, due to predisposing genetic factors.

Anyone can become infected. It only occurs in humans and is found worldwide. Although the virus is easy to spread, serious illness rarely occurs.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Preventing outbreaks of infection in communities, depends on maintaining hygiene food handling staff. Those who have symptoms of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, should be removed from work and return to 48 hours after these symptoms disappear. The medical staff takes care of sick patients with norovirus, should wear gown and gloves. Special attention will be paid to hand washing with soap. Patient mobility in the hospital should be minimized. ...