Mark Roberts is a Texas-based insurance sales and marketing agent who doubles as a pretty decent health writer.  In the Cypress Times, he takes a “just the facts” approach to laying out what we all need to know about Norovirus.  A few examples:

The norovirus is known to be highly contagious; and, therefore, the illness can literally be passed around like a big bag of chips in a hurry.

Actually, according to, these are a group of related viruses, referred to as “Norwalk-like viruses” or NLV, causing acute gastroenteritis in humans. The incubation period is usually between 24 and 48 hours although cases have been reported to occur within 12 hours of exposure. Symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea with abdominal cramps and nausea generally lasting 24 to 60 hours. Dehydration is the most common complication. Yet even during the worst, most publicized outbreaks of sick ship only a small percentage of passengers are usually affected. According to Princess Cruises, “Statistics have shown that the chance of contracting Norovirus on land is 1 in 12; and 1 in 4000 on a cruise ship.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Noroviruses are members of a group of viruses called caliciviruses, also known previously as “Norwalk-like viruses.” Norovirus is also called viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and calicivirus. Norovirus infection causes gastroenteritis, which is an inflammation of the stomach and the small and large intestines. And, Norovirus is by far the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks. This infection is often mistakenly referred to as the “stomach flu”- it is not related to the flu (influenza), which is a respiratory illness caused by influenza virus. Norovirus is not a “new” virus, but interest in it is growing as more is learned about how frequently noroviruses cause illness in people.

Read the rest in The Cypress Times.