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).

Diagnosis and management

Updates to this page

Published 10 July 2014
Last updated 10 August 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added link to 2023 to 2024 season.

  2. Added link to 2022 to 2023 season.

  3. Added Norovirus and rotavirus national bulletin: management information.

  4. Added 'Norovirus and rotavirus: summary of surveillance 2019 to 2020'.

  5. Added 'Hospital Norovirus Outbreak Reporting System: user guidance'.

  6. Added 'Norovirus and rotavirus: summary of surveillance 2018 to 2019' to the collection.

  7. Added new data to epidemiology section.

  8. First published.