15 Key Facts About Norovirus

  1. Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S., causing between 19 – 21 million cases per year.[1]
  2. Norovirus causes between 570 – 800 deaths per year, generally among the elderly and young children. [2]
  3. Norovirus is oftentimes called stomach bug, viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning, or stomach flu.
  4. The incubation period is 12 to 48 hours.
  5. It’s more common for children to vomit when they have the virus.
  6. It’s more common for adults to have diarrhea when they have the virus.
  7. Symptoms can include vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
  8. The duration of the illness lasts between 1 to 3 days, although for the young, old, or those with suppressed immune systems, it can last between 4 to 6 days.
  9. Once the virus reaches your stomach or intestines, it causes it to become inflamed. This inflammation is what causes you to vomit or have diarrhea.
  10. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
  11. There are many strains of norovirus.
  12. Leafy greens like lettuce, shellfish, and fresh fruits are the most common foods associated with the outbreaks of the virus.
  13. About 400,000 young children visit the Emergency Room with norovirus each year.
  14. Cooking shellfish, such as oysters, helps reduce the chance of getting norovirus
  15. The first norovirus outbreak occurred in 1972 in Norwalk, Ohio.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/trends-outbreaks.html

[2] ibid