Norovirus: Prevention and risks

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How norovirus spreads

The stool and vomit of infected and recently recovered people contains norovirus. The virus spreads very easily and quickly from person to person. It only takes a few virus particles to make someone sick.

Infected people are most contagious:

Some people continue to be contagious for up to 3 weeks after recovery.

You can get norovirus by:

Food can get contaminated with norovirus when:

Water can get contaminated with norovirus by sewage, leading to waterborne outbreaks.

Preventing norovirus

It can be hard to prevent norovirus infections because contaminated foods and beverages look, smell and taste normal.

You can protect yourself and your family from norovirus by following these precautions:

If you've been diagnosed with a norovirus infection or suspect that you have one, you can help prevent the spread of illness by:

Risks of getting norovirus

Noroviruses are common worldwide and can infect people of all ages. Outbreaks can occur at any time but are most common in the fall and winter.

Most outbreaks occur in settings where people are in close contact, such as:

Who is most at risk

Although norovirus can infect anybody, you're at higher risk of a more severe case if you:

Recommendations for travellers

In addition to the general recommendations that apply to everybody, travellers should only drink treated or boiled water from a safe source, or from a commercially sealed bottle.

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