How Long Does the Norovirus Last?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that the norovirus lasts one to three days in most individuals. The symptoms of the norovirus include vomiting, pain in the stomach, diarrhea, body aches, fever and headache. The virus is extremely contagious and can be contracted more than once in a lifetime.

WebMD notes that in 1972, the norovirus was referred to initially as the Norwalk virus because the first outbreak took place in Norwalk, Ohio. According to the CDC, it can be transmitted easily from one person to another through close contact with an infected person, eating contaminated food or touching contaminated objects and surfaces. There is no vaccine for the norovirus and no medication to treat it.

According to Mayo Clinic, when an individual becomes infected with the virus, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Doctors may suggest taking an over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication if the individual is younger than 65. The recovery time from the virus depends largely on the health of a person's immune system. The virus can last longer in older adults and young children. To keep the virus from spreading, wash hands, cook seafood thoroughly before consumption and sanitize contaminated areas with bleach.