Diagnosis

Diagnosis is usually based on your symptoms, but norovirus can be identified from a stool sample. If you are immunocompromised or have other health problems, your doctor might recommend a stool test to confirm the presence of norovirus.

Treatment

There's no specific treatment for norovirus infection, and recovery generally depends on the health of your immune system. In most people, the illness usually resolves within a few days.

It's important to replace lost fluids. Oral rehydration solutions may be used. If you're unable to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration, you might need to receive fluids through a vein.

Your doctor also might recommend over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication.

Lifestyle and home remedies

If your family includes young children, it's a good idea to have commercially prepared oral rehydration solutions on hand. Adults can drink sports drinks, broths or oral rehydration solutions. Drinking liquids that contain a lot of sugar, such as soft drinks and fruit juices, can worsen diarrhea.

Smaller meals and a bland diet might help limit vomiting. Some foods to consider:

  • Soup
  • Starches and cereals, such as potatoes, noodles, rice or crackers
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Broiled vegetables

Preparing for your appointment

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms, including when the illness began and the frequency of the vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins or supplements.
  • Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.
  • Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What treatments can help?
  • How can I avoid spreading my illness to other people?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:

  • How long have you or your child had symptoms?
  • How frequent are the vomiting and diarrhea?
  • Does the vomit or diarrhea contain mucus, blood or a dark green fluid?
  • Have you or your child had a fever?
Feb. 05, 2020
  1. Matson DO, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of norovirus and related viruses. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 14, 2017.
  2. Blacklow NR. Epidemiology of viral gastroenteritis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 14, 2016.
  3. Longo DL, et al., eds. Viral gastroenteritis. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Nov. 14, 2016.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Norovirus. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  5. Alexandraki I, et al. Acute viral gastroenteritis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 15, 2016.
  6. Norovirus: Technical fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html. Accessed Nov. 15, 2016.

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