Public Health Agency

Norovirus Guidelines

Noroviruses are non-enveloped viruses that belong to the Caliciviridae group of viruses and are a frequent cause of infectious gastroenteritis. Previously known as ‘Small Round Structured Virus’ or SRSV, Norovirus is a relatively mild illness and may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramping and is usually spread by the faecal-oral route; The elderly population are one of the most vulnerable, along with health care workers.

Vomiting causes widespread contamination of the environment leading to indirect person-person spread. Outbreaks are common in environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools and cruise ships. People of all ages are at risk of developing norovirus. Norovirus infections in a hospital/Care Home can be very disruptive, as wards/sections of the care home may need to be closed to new admissions in order to prevent the spread of infection.

Norovirus – advice on managing incidents and outbreaks in Independent Sector Care Homes