Most people don't need to seek medical attention for a norovirus infection, because it clears up on its own in a day or two. However, in cases involving infants, young children and older or immunocompromised adults, you may want to call your doctor if the illness lasts more than a few days or if it appears to be causing dehydration.
Warning signs of dehydration include:
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Reduced production of tears
- Decreased urine output
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will need to know:
Apr. 05, 2011
- When the illness began
- The frequency of the vomiting or diarrhea
- Whether the vomit or diarrhea contains bile, mucus or blood
- If you have a fever
- Norovirus: Technical fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/norovirus-factsheet.htm. Accessed Feb. 21, 2011.
- Kapikian AZ. Rotaviruses, noroviruses and other gastrointestinal viruses. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Feb 21, 2011.
- Treanor JJ. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of noroviruses, astroviruses and sapoviruses. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 21, 2011.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Managing acute gastroenteritis among children: Oral rehydration, maintenance, and nutritional therapy. MMWR. 2003;52:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5216a1.htm. Accessed Feb. 23, 2011.
- Norovirus illness: Key facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/norovirus-keyfacts.htm. Accessed Feb. 22, 2011.
- Canavan A, et al. Diagnosis and management of dehydration in children. American Family Physician. 2009;80:692.