Norovirus: guidance, data and analysis

The symptoms, diagnosis, management and epidemiology of norovirus.

Norovirus, also known as winter vomiting disease, causes gastroenteritis and is highly infectious. The virus is easily transmitted through contact with infected individuals from one person to another.

Outbreaks are common in semi-enclosed environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools and cruise ships and can also occur in restaurants and hotels.

The virus is usually mild and lasts for 1 to 2 days. Symptoms include vomiting, projectile vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. Most people make a full recovery within a couple of days but it can be dangerous for the very young and elderly people.

Epidemiology and surveillance

Norovirus is a frequent cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis in NHS hospitals. Outbreaks are reported on the Hospital Norovirus Outbreak Reporting System (HNORS).

  1. Reported norovirus outbreaks (suspected and lab-confirmed) in hospitals: 2018
  2. Norovirus and rotavirus: summary of surveillance 2017 to 2018
  3. Norovirus: national laboratory data
  4. Norovirus and rotavirus: summary of surveillance 2016
  5. Norovirus: annual figures 2000 to 2012

Diagnosis and management

Published 10 July 2014
Last updated 13 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added new data to epidemiology section.
  2. First published.