The noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a nasty strain of gastroenteritis, which is an infection of the gut causing vomiting and diarrhoea. In most cases, the infection clears up within a few days, but occasionally it can take longer, leaving you at risk of severe dehydration. If you suspect that you or your child is becoming dehydrated, you should consult a doctor quickly.
There is no special medication to treat norovirus, and most cases can be treated at home. However, precautions should be taken, such as wearing vinyl gloves when dealing with any sickness or diarrhoea, and regularly hand-washing. This will help prevent the spread of infection.
A norovirus present in the gut of an infected person can be passed out in their diarrhoea and is easily spread from one person to another by close contact. This is usually because the virus is present on the infected persons hands after they have been to the toilet. It usually takes between 24-48 hours after first contact with norovirus before symptoms develop. (more...)