Norovirus, sometimes referred to as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common cause of gastroenteritis. Infection is characterized by non-bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Fever or headaches may also occur. Symptoms usually develop 12 to 48 hours after being exposed, and recovery typically occurs within 1 to 3 days. Complications are uncommon, but may include dehydration, especially in the young, the old, and those with other health problems.
The virus is usually spread by the fecal–oral route. This may be through contaminated food or water or person-to-person contact. It may also spread via contaminated surfaces or through air from the vomit of an infected person. Risk factors include unsanitary food preparation and sharing close quarters.