Nonenveloped RNA virus belonging to the family of Caliciviruses. Causes severe diarrhoeal diseases and vomiting in humans and is considered the most common cause of virus-related gastroenteritis, particularly in the winter months.
Noroviruses are highly contagious; between 10 and 100 virus particles are enough to trigger an infection. They are mainly spread through the faecal-oral route – predominantly via contaminated hands and through virus-containing aerosols when vomiting. Due to their environmental stability, noroviruses are extremely resistant to chemical and physical influences. Hence, the Robert Koch-Institute recommends using virucidal products from its list of disinfectants (activity area B) when noroviruses occur. According to the Federal Law on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases in Humans (IfSG), noroviruses need to be reported to the competent public health department.