What are noroviruses?

The term “norovirus” is the official name for a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis. They are also called caliciviruses (because they belong to the virus family Caliciviridae). They used to be called Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs). Norovirus illnesses are common and affect all age groups. They can occur anytime but are more common in the winter months.

How is it spread ?

Noroviruses are spread mainly through contact with the vomit or feces of an infected person. This happens because:
• The virus can spread easily from person to person on unwashed hands.
• The virus can also spread through food, water, or ice that has been handled by a sick person.
• Vomiting may spread the virus short distances through the air.
• The virus can survive on surfaces such as door handles, countertops or sink taps for a long time.

You can get a norovirus illness while caring for someone who is infected with it. Noroviruses spread easily in places where people are in close contact – for example, schools,daycare centres, long-term care facilities, health-care facilities and cruise ships. It is important to…