Norwalk Virus

Noroviruses, are also called Norwalk-like viruses, are the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis. Viral gastroenteritis is an “inflammation of the stomach and intestines” and “is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in both adults and children.” (1)

Noroviruses are spread though food or water contaminated by someone infected with the virus. Symptoms include nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, fever, and fatigue. (2) Noroviruses “are not related to bacteria or parasites,” (3) and recommended treatment includes bed rest and plenty of fluids.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), “symptoms usually develop within hours or a few days after you are infected” and it “usually takes a couple of days before you are better.” (4)

Research using chimpanzees

In the research experiment below, the “juvenile chimpanzees” (typically two years old or younger) did not develop an illness or show any signs of infection after the virus was administered to them. 


Kim Green

Grant No.



Norwalk Virus and Related Norwalk-like Viruses in Viral Gastroenteritis


Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID

Project runs:




As the abstract states:

“A Norwalk virus-containing stool filtrate was administered orally or intravenously to two juvenile chimpanzees…The animals did not develop [an] illness and also failed to demonstrate a serologic response to Norwalk virus.…At the completion of the study, there was no evidence for Norwalk virus replication in either chimpanzee…The reason for the failure in this experiment to infect juvenile chimpanzees is under investigation.” (5)

In 2008, “studies of Norwalk virus infection and immunity in chimpanzees” were continued in grant 1Z01AI000897-0808, “Noroviruses and Epidemic Gastroenteritis.” (6)

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