For people who are infected with a norovirus, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Other possible symptoms of an infection include fever, chills, and headache. These symptoms are similar to symptoms of other infections and illnesses; therefore, the symptoms discussed in this article are not sure signs of a norovirus infection. Anyone experiencing potential signs or symptoms of a norovirus infection should seek medical attention so the problem can be diagnosed and treated.
When a person becomes infected with a norovirus, the virus begins to multiply within the small intestine. After approximately 1 to 2 days, norovirus symptoms can begin. This period between the norovirus transmission and the start of symptoms is the "norovirus incubation period." In some cases, the norovirus incubation period can be as short as 12 hours.
Not all people who are infected with a norovirus will develop symptoms. If symptoms of a norovirus infection do occur, the illness tends to begin suddenly. Common norovirus symptoms include:
- Watery diarrhea
- Some stomach cramping
Less common symptoms of norovirus can include:
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle aches
- General sense of tiredness.
Norovirus gastroenteritis -- the name of the illness caused by norovirus -- is usually brief, with symptoms lasting only about 1 or 2 days. During this time, however, people feel very ill. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults.