What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is a form of gastroenteritis that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It is very common and highly contagious. AFC Urgent Care Waltham can help you understand the causes and prevention of norovirus to help keep your loved ones safe. Learn more about the types of illnesses our trained physicians can help diagnose and treat here.

What are the symptoms of norovirus?

Norovirus is the most common form of gastroenteritis, so its symptoms are very similar to that of a stomach bug. It includes vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps or pain, and low fevers. Symptoms typically start within 12 to 24 hours after exposure and can last from one to three days. It is essential to wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with others to stop the spread of the illness. Watch for signs of dehydration, as this is the most significant risk factor to the virus. Be sure to replace lost fluids with water and other clear liquids to avoid dehydration. Contaminated food and water are the most common causes of norovirus. The virus can survive in high temperatures, so it is difficult to kill off while cooking anything.


While norovirus is extremely contagious, it is possible to try and prevent yourself from getting it. If you live with someone who has it, your chance of catching it is very high, however proper handwashing and disinfection of surfaces can help. Do not eat any food prepared by someone who is sick and wash your hands before eating. Always cook food properly before consuming as well, including cooking to the proper internal temperature. Wash your fruits and vegetables before consuming them, as well, to help rid the food of any harmful bacteria.

Treatment of norovirus

There is no specific treatment once you have contracted norovirus. It is best just to let the virus run its course for a few days. The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with norovirus is to replace the lost fluids in your body. Avoid beverages that have a lot of sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. This can make your symptoms worse and dehydrate you further. Boiled vegetables, chicken broth, and starchy foods can help settle an upset stomach. While this will not cure your illness, it can make you feel better for a few days. Be sure to get plenty of rest, as well, to help speed up the recovery process. Sleep can help improve your immune system, which can then fight off the virus.