Causes and Diagnosis of Norovirus Infection

Dr. Nithin Jayan
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB
Last Updated on Nov 12, 2014
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Causes and Diagnosis of Norovirus Infection

Commonly a person becomes infected with norovirus after they have consumed something that is fecally-contaminated. Also foods such as oysters (when undercooked), raw vegetables and fruits have often been implicated.

A person may also acquire the infection upon coming in contact with an infected person or touching contaminated surface and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth with the contaminated hand.

Once a person becomes infected, the infection begins to spread to others through shaking hands or other modes of touch. Infection also spreads through shared utensils, shared foods and so on. Individuals with a weak immune system are particularly vulnerable to the infection.

Norovirus infection may be diagnosed using a stool test but very often the diagnosis is made merely by carefully observing the symptoms. A very small percentage of people present with no symptoms as they may have a natural protection against the virus. Specific norovirus diagnosis is carried out with the help of the sensitive test known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

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