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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Public Health and Social Services

You may hear norovirus illness be called “food poisoning,” “stomach flu,” or “stomach bug.” Noroviruses are the leading cause of foodborne illness, but other germs and chemicals can also cause foodborne illness. Norovirus illness is not related to the flu, which is caused by influenza virus.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with norovirus. You can get norovirus from:

  • Having direct contact with an infected person
  • Consuming contaminated food or water
  • Touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth


Protect yourself and others from norovirus:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly.
  • Stay home when sick and for two days after symptoms stop.
  • Avoid preparing food for others when sick and for two days after symptoms stop.


There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of liquids to replace fluids that are lost from vomiting and diarrhea. 

Learn more at Norovirus (CDC).

“Protect Yourself and Others from Norovirus” infographic:

Contact our Disease Control and Prevention division at 360-867-2610 or email if you have additional questions.