Norovirus causes problems in the stomach and intestines. Common symptoms are diarrhea, throwing up, nausea and stomach pain. It can also cause fever, headache and body aches. The virus usually peaks sometime from January to March.

Can I prevent it?

The best way to prevent norovirus is to wash your hands frequently. That means every time you go to the bathroom and always before you eat, prepare or handle food.

How does it spread?

Norovirus easily spreads to others. It spreads through eating food or drinking liquid that is contaminated with it. It can be spread by touching surfaces that have it. And it can be spread by caring for someone who has norovirus.

Norovirus can spread quickly in places where there are large groups of people. This includes schools, cruise ships and daycare centers. It can stay in a person’s stool for up to two weeks and can be present even if someone does not have symptoms.

How long will I be sick with it?

People usually feel better within one to three days.

How can it be treated?

Since it is a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to prevent dehydration. Do not go to school or work until you have been symptom free for at least 24 hours.

When should I see a doctor?

Throwing up or diarrhea can cause dehydration. This can be especially serious in young children or older people. Symptoms of dehydration are decrease in urination, dry mouth and throat and feeling dizzy when standing up. In extreme cases, replacing lost fluids can require hospitalization. Call a doctor if you think you or a loved one is dehydrated.