Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause stomach or gut infection leading to vomiting and diarrhoea.

Norovirus is very easily spread from one person to another.

The virus can survive outside the body, so hard surfaces, toys, plates, cutlery and other objects can become contaminated. Careful cleaning of surfaces and hand washing is important to stop the spread of norovirus.

If you are concerned about norovirus call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or see your doctor or practice nurse.

The faeces and vomit of people with norovirus are infectious.

Norovirus can be spread in many ways, including having food or drinks contaminated with norovirus and having contact with a person who has norovirus.

To help stop norovirus spreading it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water (do not use alcohol based hand-sanitising gel as this does not completely inactivate norovirus).

People with norovirus usually get sick within one to two days. Symptoms usually last for two days and can include feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, headache, low-grade fever, chills and muscle aches.

There is no specific treatment or vaccination for norovirus. It is not treated with antibiotics because it is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Dehydration is the main cause of serious illness.

Stay away from school, early childhood centres or work, and don’t prepare or handle food until two days after the symptoms have gone away.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service provides information about how to manage norovirus and stop it spreading, in particular, where there are institutional outbreaks.

For schools and early learning services

Information in other languages

  • Fact sheet - Hand washing and hygiene PDF (ARPHS)


  • Poster - High five for clean hands PDF (HealthEd)

Te reo Māori


There are specific requirements for notifiable diseases in the Auckland region.

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Last updated 13.9.2018

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
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