The good news about Norwalk virus is that it does not multiply in foods as many other bacteria do. In addition, thorough cooking destroys this virus. To avoid this illness, make sure the food you eat is cooked completely. Shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) pose the greatest risk and any particular serving may be contaminated; there is no way to detect a contaminated oyster from a safe oyster. With shellfish, only complete cooking offers reliable protection.

Wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating or preparing salads. If you are traveling in an area that appears to have polluted water, drink only boiled drinks or carbonated bottled beverages without ice.

Immunity to calciviruses is not permanent and reinfection can occur, and infection may also spread from person-to-person. So, if you or another household member suffer a bout of gastroenteritis, then

Wash hands with soap and warm water after toilet visits, before preparing or eating food; and after caring for the sick;

Exclude persons with gastroenteritis from the kitchen; and

Always dispose of sewage in a sanitary manner.

The Environmental Health Associates have published “Norovirus Outbreak Control Guidelines” for the lodging industry, but they state that: “These guidelines should be used in conjunction with the other laws and rules governing sanitation and communicable disease control in the lodging industry and advice from medical or public health advisers. The local circumstances should always be taken into account when deciding on a plan of action.”

What is the treatment for Norwalk virus infection?

No specific treatment is available. Persons who are severely dehydrated might need rehydration therapy.