Norovirus is a common cause of infectious gastroenteritis that results in diarrhoea and vomiting. As it's most common during the winter months, norovirus is sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, but infections can occur at any time of year.
Norovirus is very easily spread from one person to another. Outbreaks of norovirus where more than two people are infected can commonly occur where people are in close contact with one another for long periods of time, in situations such as:
- care homes
- cruise ships
Hand hygiene is very important – use soap and water for hand washing as alcohol based hand rub may be ineffective for norovirus.
It's important to wash your hands, particularly after contact with someone who is ill, after using the toilet and before preparing food.
To find out more about norovirus and how to stop it spreading, visit the NHS inform website.
View our norovirus guidance:
For all infection prevention and control guidance visit the A-Z pathogens section of the National Infection and Prevention Control Manual.
Data and surveillance
View the latest norovirus surveillance reports:
Confirmed cases of norovirus
Norovirus ward and bay closures
NHS Boards report to us all ward and bay closures due to norovirus including number of patients and staff affected and length of outbreak. These figures are added to an ongoing dashboard where you can see figures by board and date.
NHS Health Scotland norovirus 2019 campaign
View our video, which explains what norovirus is and what to do if you've got it.
For this year’s norovirus seasonal awareness campaign, Health Scotland have developed resources for organisations and individuals to help them spread the message.
This toolkit provides:
- posters and leaflets
- digital banner ads for websites
- infographics for social media accounts and websites
- pre-written Tweets and Facebook posts
The toolkit can be downloaded from the NHS inform website.