Everything You Need To Know About Norovirus And Rotavirus

Everything You Need To Know About Norovirus And Rotavirus

These viruses attack the body in ways that are a bit similar. Knowing each one's exact symptoms and differences will help mums to properly medicate.

Norovirus is sometimes referred to as winter vomiting bug or food poisoning, while rotavirus is sometimes known as stomach flu. And both are viral in nature. Due to certain similarities in the way it attacks the body, this article on norovirus vs rotavirus will help you identify each one.

The Norovirus vs The Rotavirus

  • Norovirus

Norovirus is considered in many quarters as the most common cause of gastroenteritis. Highly contagious, the virus moves from person to person, employing different mediums effective in carrying the virus. However, where there have been outbreaks, it has been linked to raw vegetables. It is known to be contracted by consuming food with traces of faecal matter or coming in contact with a surface where a carrier vomited.

Furthermore, all age groups can contract norovirus, especially people with weak immune systems. It can be fatal in people with weak immune systems. Especially if dehydration is left unattended. In addition, Norovirus is responsible for 90 per cent of the world's gastroenteritis outbreak. Symptoms start to show 12 to 48 hours after catching the virus. But the patient can fully recover within a few days.

  • Rotavirus

The chief difference between rotavirus and norovirus is that rotavirus mostly infects children under the age of five. In fact, almost every child in the world has been exposed to rotavirus at least once before the age of five. Plus, unlike norovirus, the more the body is exposed to rotavirus the quicker it develops immunity against it, which is harder to do for norovirus.

Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhoea in young children and infants. Like the norovirus, it is contagious, through contact with objects, surfaces, and hands that have been contaminated. And it can also be fatal if dehydration isn't managed. Dehydration caused by rotavirus is the leading cause of infant death.

Norovirus vs rotavirus: symptoms and prevention

Everything You Need To Know About Norovirus And Rotavirus

  1. Symptoms

       Norovirus symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Watery or loose diarrhoea (which can lead to dehydration)
  • Vomiting
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle pain

For dehydration

  • Dizziness when standing
  • Less urination
  • Dry throat and mouth

Rotavirus symptoms

norovirus vs autovirus

  • Fever
  • Vomiting (can lead to dehydration)
  • Watery diarrhoea (can lead to dehydration)
  • Abdominal pain

       For dehydration

  • Fatigue
  • Cool skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Lack of tears when crying
  • Deep thirst
  1. Prevention

       Norovirus prevention

No vaccine has been developed to prevent norovirus, but you can perform the following hygiene measures a prevention routine.

  • Wash your hands with soap after using the toilet
  • Ensure you wash your hands before touching your food
  • Wash your hands before handling medications
  • Use hand sanitizer where there's no soap or water
  • Do not prepare food for others when you're sick
  • Disinfect surfaces

Rotavirus prevention

The virus is contracted from faeces, wash your hands when changing diapers. Also, do not let your child go anywhere near anyone who is infected. Vaccines have been developed for the prevention of rotavirus. They include:

  • RotaTeq: This vaccine is strictly for babies aged 2 to 6 months. It is not for older children or adults. Three doses of the vaccine are administered through the mouth.
  • Rotarix: This is for babies aged two to four months, administered in two doses.


See the doctor immediately if your child's diarrhoea lasts more than 24 hours. Also, if the child seems tired and showing other symptoms of dehydration, or if vomiting is frequent. However, for an exposed adult, call your doctor if you can't keep liquid down for more than 24 hours, or if you notice any signs of dehydration.

Read also: 10 Foods And Drinks For When Stomach Flu Strikes

Written by

Lydia Ume