Charles D. Humphrey This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by norovirus virions, or virus particles.Noroviruses belong to the genus Norovirus, and the family Caliciviridae. They are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, nonenveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. Norovirus was recently approved as the official genus name for the group of viruses provisionally described as ìNorwalk-like virusesî (NLV). What are noroviruses?Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the ìstomach flu,î or gastroenteritis (GAS-tro-en-ter-I-tis), in people. The term norovirus was recently approved as the official name for this group of viruses. Several other names have been used for noroviruses, including:- Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs) - caliciviruses (because they belong to the virus family Caliciviridae- small round structured viruses.Viruses are very different from bacteria and parasites, some of which can cause illnesses similar to norovirus infection. Like all viral infections, noroviruses are not affected by treatment with antibiotics, and cannot grow outside of a personís body.

General Information about GI Illness (Norovirus)

Outbreaks of gastroenteritis in schools and daycares are not uncommon. Viruses cause most outbreaks of gastroenteritis, and almost always are transmitted person-to-person, by contaminated surfaces or, occasionally, by contaminated food. These outbreaks can be detected early by recognizing the typical symptoms of illness and can be controlled by taking specific steps to prevent the virus from being transmitted person-to-person.

 

What causes viral gastroenteritis?

Many different viruses can cause gastroenteritis, including rotaviruses and noroviruses; however, noroviruses are the cause of the majority of these outbreaks. Although the symptoms may be similar, viral gastroenteritis is not caused by bacteria (such as Salmonella or E. coli), parasites (such as Giardia), medications or other medical conditions.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis [gas-trō-en-ter-ī-tis] in people. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines, causing an acute onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea. Norovirus illness is usually brief in people who are otherwise healthy. Young children, the elderly, and people with other medical illnesses are most at risk for more severe or prolonged infection. Like all viral infections, noroviruses are not affected by treatment with antibiotics. Norovirus infections spread very rapidly. Healthcare facilities and other institutional settings (e.g., daycare centers, schools, etc.) are particularly at-risk for outbreaks because of increased person-to-person contact.

GI Illness Guidelines

Sample Line Listing

Cleaning Guidelines