Norovirus: Symptoms and treatment

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting.

On this page

Symptoms of norovirus

When you’re infected with norovirus, symptoms may start as soon as 12 hours after exposure. Most people feel better within 2 to 3 days.

The main symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain and cramps
  • vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults)

You may also experience:

  • chills
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • low-grade fever

If you become ill

If you think you have norovirus, contact your health care provider.

Norovirus can make you vomit and have diarrhea several times a day. This can lead to dehydration (loss of fluids). Drink plenty of liquids to replace lost fluids. If you have a severe case, you may need to be admitted to hospital and given fluids intravenously (through a needle inserted in a vein).

Diagnosing norovirus

Your health care provider can diagnose norovirus infections. They might take a sample of your stool or vomit for laboratory testing.

Treating norovirus

There is no prescription medication to treat norovirus infections. Most people begin to feel better on their own within 2 or 3 days and do not experience any long-term health effects. You can get norovirus more than once.

Page details

Date modified: