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Norovirus vs Coronavirus: What are the Key Differences?

Are we seeing a resurgence of Norovirus?

As the world starts to lift restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, other common viruses will likely make a return as the general population returns to pre-pandemic activity and behavior. In the UK, for example, by July 2021 cases of norovirus are 72% higher than they were during the same period last year.

With COVID-19 still circulating, people may start to confuse norovirus with coronavirus and vice versa. This may present issues when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. Is it wise to obtain a test, for example? Are there certain home remedies that may be more effective for norovirus than COVID-19? How can you avoid falling ill in the first place?

To help put your mind at rest and make appropriate preparations to deal with these viruses, we’ve put together a handy guide to their primary similarities and differences.
 

What is COVID-19?

As you’re probably well aware by now, COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus formally known as SARS-CoV-2. Most people who catch the virus experience mild or moderate respiratory symptoms and recover without medical intervention. A relatively small proportion – many of whom have underlying health conditions or are over the age of 65 – are more likely to fall seriously ill from the virus.

Although vaccination programs are starting to lower mortality rates related to COVID-19, it still represents a threat to the health and wellbeing of many throughout the world. As such, people who test positive for COVID-19 must do everything they can to isolate and avoid spreading the virus to others. 
 

What are the recognized symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • A cough
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste of smell
  • Fatigue
  • A runny nose or congested sinuses
  • A sore throat
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache
Although the list of symptoms is long, around a third of people who catch COVID-19 don’t experience any symptoms. This, combined with the fact that the virus primarily spreads via infected respiratory droplets, has made COVID-19 very difficult to contain. 
 

What is norovirus?

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and nausea. As with COVID-19, some people with norovirus don’t experience any symptoms. Norovirus primarily spreads via close contact with infected people or through contaminated surfaces and foods. 
 

How can I tell the difference between norovirus and COVID-19?

Unfortunately, there are many overlapping symptoms caused by norovirus and COVID-19, making self-diagnosis difficult. The first thing to consider is whether you have been in contact with someone infected with either virus. If your close contacts have come down with norovirus, for example, there is a chance that one of them infected you with the virus (or vice versa). It is also worth noting that some symptoms such as shortness of breath and a loss of taste and smell are much more strongly linked to COVID-19.

As COVID-19 is the more serious of the two viruses, you must always rule it out with a test as soon as symptoms arise. 
 

How can I protect myself from both viruses?

Keeping a safe distance from others is one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19, as the virus travels through the air. It is also advisable to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces, as this will reduce your chances of infecting others. With norovirus, washing your hands regularly is one of the most important prevention measures, as the virus easily spreads by hand-to-face contact. You should also try to keep domestic surfaces clean, particularly if a family member has the virus.  
 

What should I do if I have COVID-19 or norovirus?

If you’re experiencing serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or severe projectile vomiting, you must seek medical attention. If your symptoms are mild, however, the best remedy is rest and hydration. For COVID-19, certain pain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen could help to reduce discomfort.  
Read more

Recent Norovirus Reports

I ordered a buffalo chicken wrap, and a small roast beef sandwich. I am having severe gastrointestinal issues within 16 hours after eating. I have a fever of 103, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Went to the ER and they said I have Norovirus. 08/10/2022 at 0523 | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Fever, Gas See Less
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7/25/2022, Norovirus at resort wide sickness. Poor food prep and hygiene problems exacerbated contagious virus. | Symptoms: Diarrhea See Less
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The National Park Service Office of Public Health announced that they have received reports of gastrointestinal illness among >150 private and commercial river rafters and back-country campers at the Grand Canyon during April and May 2022. Symptoms include nausea, stomach cramping/pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms are... See More consistent with norovirus, and they have confirmed norovirus from at least eight rafting trips according to the release.

The National Park Service Office of Public Health, along with Coconino County Health and Human Services and CDC are monitoring and investigating this situation.

The National Park Service Office of Public Health advises that while traveling in the backcountry, river running, or hiking, you may need to use water from the Colorado River, side streams, pools, springs, or other sources. There may have been a time when it was safe to use such sources, but no longer. Any untreated water has the potential to cause illness if it is not properly and carefully disinfected.

Norovirus is very contagious and is easily transmitted from person to person most through the oral/fecal route. Considering that hand sanitizer does NOT work against this virus, it is important to wash your hands with soap frequently.

In case you experience vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea, report it now. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: nps.gov  | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cramps, Stomach Pain
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Gelato Artigianale al gusto di Raspberry Gelato is being recalled from the marketplace due to possible norovirus contamination of the raspberries used in this product. The recalled product has been sold at Angelo's Italian Market Inc. (London, ON).

The recalled product is:
- Gelato Artigianale al gusto... See More di Raspberry Gelato, 1 L, 0 000000 067430, None – Sold at Angelo's Italian Market Inc., 755 Wonderland Road North, London, ON up to and including June 14, 2022

If you have the recalled product in your home, please do not eat it, throw it away, or return it to the location where it was purchased.

People with norovirus illness usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can start as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness often begins suddenly. Even after having the illness, you can still become re-infected by norovirus. The main symptoms of norovirus illness are diarrhea, vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults), nausea and stomach cramps. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and fatigue (a general sense of tiredness). Most people feel better within one or two days, with symptoms resolving on their own, and experience no long-term health effects. As with any illness causing diarrhea or vomiting, people who are ill should drink plenty of liquids to replace lost body fluids and prevent dehydration. In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized and given fluids intravenously.

In case you experience norovirus symptoms, report it now. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Company name: Angelo's Italian Market Inc. (London, ON)
Brand name: No brand
Product recalled: Gelato Artigianale al gusto di Raspberry Gelato
Reason of the recall: Issue Food - Microbial Contamination - Norovirus
CFIA Recall date: 2022-06-24

Source: recalls-rappels.canada.ca
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195


Revive Organics Inc. is recalling the affected products from the marketplace due to possible norovirus contamination of the raspberries used in these products. The recalled products have been sold nationally and online. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Recalled products:... See More
- Revive Superfoods Açaí Twist Smoothie (201 g). UPC: 8 54681 00005 3. Codes: 2022-10-11, 2022-10-19, 2022-10-20, 2022-11-06, 2022-11-09, 2022-11-12
- Revive Superfoods Berry Blü Smoothie (194 g). UPC: 8 54681 00009 1. Codes: 2022-10-13, 2022-10-20, 2022-10-21, 2022-10-27, 2022-11-04, 2022-11-10
- Revive Superfoods Berry Patch Oats (176 g). UPC: 8 54681 00012 1. Codes: 2022-10-20, 2022-10-27, 2022-11-03
- Revive Superfoods Coconut Cream Smoothie (190 g). UPC: 8 54681 00016 9. Codes: 2022-10-13, 2022-10-19, 2022-10-27, 2022-11-05, 2022-11-12
- Revive Superfoods Heart Beet Smoothie (207 g). UPC: 8 53267 00112 5. Codes: 2022-10-07, 2022-10-13, 2022-10-20, 2022-11-03
- Revive Superfoods Raspberry & Mango Smoothie (188 g). UPC: 8 54681 00026 8. Codes: 2022-10-13, 2022-10-20, 2022-10-27, 2022-11-02, 2022-11-03, 2022-11-10
- Revive Superfoods Strawberry Zen Smoothie (222 g). UPC: 8 54681 00003 9. Codes: 2022-10-12, 2022-10-20, 2022-10-21, 2022-10-22, 2022-11-03, 2022-11-12

Canadian Food Inspection Agency test results triggered this recall.

What you should do:
If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor
Check to see if you have recalled products. These products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased. Do not consume recalled products

People with norovirus illness usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can start as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness often begins suddenly. Even after having the illness, you can still become re-infected by norovirus. The main symptoms of norovirus illness are diarrhea, vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults), nausea and stomach cramps. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and fatigue (a general sense of tiredness).

Most people feel better within one or two days, with symptoms resolving on their own, and experience no long-term health effects. As with any illness causing diarrhea or vomiting, people who are ill should drink plenty of liquids to replace lost body fluids and prevent dehydration. In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized and given fluids intravenously.

In case you are experiencing Norovirus symptoms, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance.

Company name: Revive Organics Inc.
Brand name: Revive Superfoods
Product recalled: Certain smoothies and oats
Reason of the recall: Issue Food - Microbial Contamination - Norovirus
CFIA Recall date: 2022-06-18

Source: recalls-rappels.canada.ca
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Alasko brand IQF Whole Raspberries recalled due to norovirus. The recalled product has been sold in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

- Affected products:
Brand Name: Alasko
Product Name: IQF Whole Raspberries
Size: 5 x 1 kg
Code on product: #Lot: SY 21278 / P.O: 116381-01 /... See More BB: 2023-OC-04 / Inner Bag: 6 95058 00205 4 / Outer Carton: 1 069505 800205 1
UPC: 6 95058 00205 4
1 069505 800205 1

Norovirus is very contagious and is easily transmitted from person to person most through the oral/fecal route. Considering that hand sanitizer does NOT work against this virus, it is important to wash your hands with soap frequently. Use bleach to clean and disinfect surfaces.

In case you are experiencing food poisoning symptoms, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance.

Company name: New Alasko Limited Partnership
Brand name: Alasko
Product recalled: IQF Whole Raspberries
Reason of the recall: Issue Food - Microbial Contamination - Norovirus
CFIA Recall date: 2022-06-13

Source: recalls-rappels.canada.ca
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Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd. is recalling certain Spot Prawns from the marketplace due to possible norovirus contamination. The recalled products have been sold in British Columbia and Ontario and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories.

- Affected products:
Brand name: Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd.... See More
Product name: Live Spot Prawn.
Size: Variable.
UPC: None.
Codes: CA001-1542

Brand name: None.
Product name: Fresh Spot Prawn.
Size: Variable.
UPC: None.
Codes: All units sold at Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd., 11751 Voyageur Way, Richmond, BC, from May 20, 2022 to May 21, 2022
All units sold at Deluxe Seafood Vancouver Ltd., #106-366 East Kent Ave. S, Vancouver, BC, from May 20, 2022 up to and including May 24, 2022

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor; check to see if you have the recalled products in your home or establishment
Do not consume the recalled products; and do not serve, use, sell, or distribute the recalled products.

Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected products are advised to contact their retailer

People with norovirus illness usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can start as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness often begins suddenly. Even after having the illness, you can still become re-infected by norovirus.

In case you are experiencing Norovirus symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults), nausea and stomach cramps, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance.

Company name: Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd.
Brand name: Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd.
Product recalled: Certain Spot Prawns
Reason of the recall: Issue Food - Microbial Contamination - Norovirus
CFIA Recall date: 2022-06-02

Source: recalls-rappels.canada.ca
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Épicerie Frenette is recalling the affected product from the marketplace due to possible norovirus contamination. The recalled product has been sold at Épicerie Frenette, 625 rue Principale, Beresford, New Brunswick.

The recalled product is:
- Épicerie Frenette "Whole rasberries" (frozen), 350 g, UPC 0 201250 705008, Packaging... See More ("Emballage") dates from 17-AL-22 to 17-MA-22 inclusively.

If you have the recalled product in your home, please do not eat it, throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

People with norovirus illness usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can start as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness often begins suddenly. Even after having the illness, you can still become re-infected by norovirus. The main symptoms of norovirus illness are diarrhea, vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults), nausea and stomach cramps. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and fatigue (a general sense of tiredness). 

In case you experience Norovirus symptoms, report it now. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Company name: Épicerie Frenette
Brand name: None
Product recalled: Whole raspberries (frozen)
Reason of the recall: Issue Food - Microbial Contamination - Norovirus
CFIA Recall date: 2022-06-01

Source: recalls-rappels.canada.ca
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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of norovirus and gastrointestinal illnesses linked to Live Spot Prawn involving four provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario.

As... See More of June 1, 2022, there have been 48 cases of norovirus and gastrointestinal illness reported in the following provinces: British Columbia (11), Alberta (12), Manitoba (19), and Ontario (6). No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between mid-May and late-May 2022. Although not all cases of illness have been tested, laboratory testing has confirmed the presence of norovirus infection. The investigation is ongoing.

On May 31, 2022, the CFIA issued a food recall warning for several lot codes of live spot prawns that are associated with the illnesses under investigation. The recalled products have been sold in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories.

Spot prawns contaminated with noroviruses may look, smell and taste normal. PHAC advises the following safe food-handling practices will reduce your risk of getting sick:

- Do not eat, use, sell, or serve the recalled spot prawns. Check to see if you have the recalled spot prawns at home. If you do, throw them out and wash your hands.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked spot prawns.
- Eat spot prawns right away after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.
- Always keep raw and cooked spot prawns separate to avoid cross-contamination.
- Do not use the same plate or utensils for raw and cooked spot prawns.
- Wash your hands well with soap before and after handling any food.
- Be sure to clean and sanitize cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils after preparing raw foods.

Noroviruses can be transmitted by ill individuals. Cleaning and disinfecting practices are the key to preventing further illnesses in your home.

In case you experience vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea, report it now. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: canada.ca
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Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd. is recalling certain Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd. brand Live Spot Prawns from the marketplace due to possible norovirus contamination. The recalled product has been sold in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories. There... See More have been reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Recalled products:
- Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd. Live Spot Prawn. Size: Variable. UPC: None. Codes: AJ200-021 | CA001-1532 | CA001-1540.

What you should do:
If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor
Check to see if you have the recalled product in your home or establishment
Do not consume the recalled product
Do not serve, use, sell, or distribute the recalled product
Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased
Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected product are advised to contact their retailer

This recall was triggered by findings by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak. People with norovirus illness usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can start as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness often begins suddenly. Even after having the illness, you can still become re-infected by norovirus.

The main symptoms of norovirus illness are diarrhea, vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults), nausea and stomach cramps. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and fatigue (a general sense of tiredness).  Most people feel better within one or two days, with symptoms resolving on their own, and experience no long-term health effects. As with any illness causing diarrhea or vomiting, people who are ill should drink plenty of liquids to replace lost body fluids and prevent dehydration. In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized and given fluids intravenously.

In case you are experiencing norovirus symptoms, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance.

Company name: Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd.
Brand name: Tri-Star Seafood Supply Ltd.
Product recalled: Certain Live Spot Prawns
Reason of the recall: Issue Food - Microbial Contamination - Norovirus
CFIA Recall date: 2022-05-31

Source: recalls-rappels.canada.ca
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