Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone.  You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.  These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults.

Norovirus is the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States.  Most of these outbreaks occur in the food service settings like restaurants. Infected food workers are frequently the source of the outbreaks, often by touching ready-to-eat foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, with their bare hands before serving them. However, any food served raw or handled after being cooked can get contaminated with norovirus.

There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral (not a bacterial) infection.  If you have norovirus illness, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from throwing up and diarrhea. This will help prevent dehydration.

OLS provides both an independent Norovirus molecular test and a gastrointestinal pathogen panel.  Contact the Microbiology Section for more information.

Forms and Instructions

Specimen Collection Instructions (same as for Enterics)

Related Links
CDC CaliciNet - surveillance data

Contact Information
Phone: 304-558-3530 extension 58868
Fax: 304-558-6210