Preventing the Spread of Norovirus: Tips from the CDC

Norovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus and is the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the United States. It is commonly referred to as food poisoning, stomach flu, or stomach bug, and can cause gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines).[0] According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Norovirus accounts for 58% of foodborne illnesses in the U.S., costing the country around $2 billion. In Walla Walla County, Washington, officials are investigating suspected norovirus cases in the county. Maricopa County Department of Health has also reported an increase in reported norovirus cases, and cases of what is suspected to be norovirus are increasing across the country.

Norovirus is most common during the colder, winter months, and outbreaks are most common in April and March. Norovirus infection symptoms may consist of vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, headache, cramps, and muscle aches.[1] Signs of extreme dehydration may include infrequent urination, exhaustion, and lightheadedness.[1] The signs and symptoms of exposure usually start 12 to 48 hours afterwards and last up to three days.[2]

In order to prevent the spread of norovirus, individuals who are ill should not return to work until 48 hours after symptoms have passed.[3] The community is also advised to take preventative measures, including washing their hands often with soap and water, and cleaning and disinfecting contaminated surfaces with a bleach solution.[3] It is also important to handle and prepare food safely, avoid preparing food for others if you are sick, and wear personal protective equipment around sick people.[3]

0. “What is the norovirus and how does it spread?” NBC Right Now, 4 Mar. 2023,

1. “Norovirus suspected in Walla Walla County | News |” NBC Right Now, 3 Mar. 2023,

2. “Walla Walla County investigates suspected norovirus cases” KEPR 19, 3 Mar. 2023,

3. “Suspected norovirus cases spike across Walla Walla County | Local |” Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, 4 Mar. 2023,

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