Norwalk virus is the most frequent cause of epidemic non-bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide (CDC link). It is highly pathogenic and extremely contagious, but symptoms usually only last for about a day. However, in this study, researchers found the fecal shedding of norwalk (in experimentally infected healthy adults) lasted for a median of 1 month, and as long as 2 months in some (abstract). It is important for us to realize the potential prolonged infectivity (even after resolution of diarrhea) of patients with recent Norwalk gastroenteritis.
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.