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.

Norovirus can be spread in many ways, including having food or drinks contaminated with norovirus and having contact with a person who has norovirus. The faeces and vomit of people with norovirus are infectious, and the virus can spread through people coming into contact with these.

To help stop norovirus spreading it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Alcohol based hand-sanitising gel isn't sufficient to stop norovirus spreading.

People with norovirus usually get sick within one to two days of being infected. Symptoms usually last for two days.

They can include:

  • feeling or being sick
  • diarrhoea
  • stomach cramps
  • headache
  • low-grade fever
  • chills
  • muscle aches

If you have symptoms call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or see your doctor or practice nurse.

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.

If you have norovirus or symptoms that could be the virus you should:

  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Stay away from school, early childhood centres or work until two days after the symptoms have gone away, and also avoid preparing or handling food

Public health provides information about how to manage norovirus and stop it spreading, in particular, where there are institutional outbreaks (e.g. at an early learning service or aged residential care home).

For the general public


For schools and early learning services



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

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Last updated 22.11.2022

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