Disease, outbreak and prevention information
This page has information intended for healthcare providers, school health teams and other health professionals. For more general information, see our Norovirus page.
What is norovirus?
You've probably heard it called the "stomach flu." Norovirus is a very contagious viral illness that causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Most people will get norovirus several times in their life.
Symptoms can also include stomach cramps and fever. They appear 12 to 24 hours after exposure, and often go away within a few days. Many people are contagious before showing symptoms. The virus can also stay in feces for several weeks. Outbreaks happen quickly, but can be controlled if caught early.
You should report suspected norovirus outbreaks.
If your school, childcare center, nursing home or healthcare facility sees a sudden increase in illness, we can help.
To report an outbreak, visit our Report Notifiable Conditions page or call (253) 798-6534.
For schools and childcare centers
- Controlling norovirus—Tips to prevent the spread of norovirus.
- Clean and disinfect safely—Instructions for cleaning up vomit or stool.
- Parent letters—English, Spanish.
- Sample school newsletter article.
For healthcare providers
- Gastroenteritis outbreak toolkit—racking and illness control tools for congregate care and healthcare facilities.
- CDC norovirus page for healthcare providers—Disease, diagnosis and treatment information.