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Norovirus

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What you need to know on the cause and symptoms of Norovirus.

Important information on preventing the spread of Norovirus.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus is the name given to a group of viruses that are the most common causes of stomach bugs. Norovirus is also known as ‘winter vomiting disease’, ‘Norwalk-like virus’ or ‘small round structured virus’ and affects between 600,000 and one million people of all ages in the UK every year.

How do you prevent it?

Norovirus spreads very easily from one person to another. You can catch it through contact with an infected person, by touching contaminated surfaces or objects or through contaminated food and drink.

Food that can occasionally cause norovirus infection include:

  • shellfish that have not been cooked properly; and 
  • unwashed raw fruit and vegetables.

While it is not always possible to prevent becoming infected, there are simple, practical steps you can take to reduce the risk of spreading the virus:  

  • always wash your hands after going to the toilet and before handling food;
  • cook food thoroughly; and
  • clean all food preparation areas and utensils before and after use.

Further information can be found by following these links:

Public Health Wales - Norovirus (external link, English only) 

NHS Choices (external link, English only)