The norovirus is a foodborne illness that causes various symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea. It is the most common cause of stomach flu and may indirectly cause a sore throat due to vomiting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the norovirus is highly contagious. It is also the most common cause of gastroenteritis, which people often refer to as the stomach flu.

Norovirus has several potential symptoms, the most common being vomiting and diarrhea.

This article will explore whether the norovirus can cause different types of sore throat, before listing other possible symptoms. It will also compare the norovirus with symptoms of COVID-19 and discuss possible treatment options for the norovirus and a sore throat.

Learn about the norovirus in more detail here.

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Norovirus is not likely to cause a sore throat directly.

However, the CDC point out that dehydration can cause a dry throat. A dry throat may become irritated, which could make it feel sore.

Dehydration is a risk that can occur due to the vomiting and diarrhea that the norovirus can cause.

Find out more about how to treat dehydration here.

Sore throat as the only symptom

If sore throat is the only symptom a person has, they may not have the norovirus.

Other viruses, such as the flu or the common cold, are more likely causes.

Other causes of a sore throat include:

The Oxford County Health Officials in California compared the norovirus, flu, and the common cold. This shows that having a sore throat is not a symptom of norovirus but is a common symptom of both the cold and the flu.

Learn more about sore throats here.

Sore throat on one side

There are several underlying causes that can make the throat sore on one side. Some potential causes include:

If a person is not sure what is causing their sore throat, they may wish to speak with their doctor if it does not go away within a few days or comes with other symptoms.

Find out more about having a sore throat on only one side here.

Sore throat after recovery

Vomiting, a common symptom of norovirus, can irritate the esophagus (food pipe).

As a person recovers from the norovirus, they may notice their throat feels sore due to the stomach acid that has come into contact with their throat.

Learn about home remedies that can help ease vomiting here.

Sore throat in the morning

According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, sore throat in the morning is a less common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that occurs when stomach acid remains in the esophagus overnight.

Learn more about GERD here.

According to the CDC, a headache is a possible symptom of the norovirus. Similarly, the Oxford County Health Officials in California also state that a headache can be reported in norovirus cases, but they also note that headaches are rare in cases of a cold.

Several conditions can cause headaches, including:

A person may wish to talk with their doctor if they experience a headache that does not go away within a few days or has other symptoms.

Learn more about headaches here.

Ear pain is not a symptom of the norovirus. The CDC does not recognize it as even a rare symptom.

According to the American Family Physician, there are several causes of ear pain.

The causes can be directly in the ear, such as an infection in the ear.

Ear pain could also be the result of an infection or condition located outside of the ear, such as swimmer’s ear.

Learn more about possible causes of ear pain here.

The CDC do not recognize a runny nose as a symptom of the norovirus.

Instead, the Oxford County Health Officials in California state that a runny nose is a common symptom of both a cold and the flu.

If a person experiences a runny nose and sore throat, it is much more likely that they have a cold or the flu, rather than the norovirus.

Learn more about the causes of a runny nose and how to stop it here.

According to the Oxford County Health Officials in California, vomiting is a common symptom of the norovirus.

Vomiting does not occur due to a cold.

Vomiting is uncommon as a symptom of the flu. However, it is more likely to occur in children with the flu.

Learn more about potential causes of vomiting here.

According to the CDC, like the norovirus, COVID-19 can cause symptoms that include nausea and diarrhea.

The main difference is that COVID-19 can cause other symptoms, including:

If a person experiences one or more of these symptoms in addition to vomiting or diarrhea, they could test themselves for COVID-19.

Learn more about possible symptoms of COVID-19 here.

Treatment can vary for the norovirus and a sore throat.

For the norovirus

According to the CDC, there is no formal treatment for the norovirus. Typically, it clears between 1 and 3 days after the onset of symptoms.

A person should be sure to drink plenty of fluids. When reintroducing foods, they should eat bland foods and avoid fatty or spicy foods.

Learn more about foods to eat with the stomach flu here.

For a sore throat

If the sore throat is the result of a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, a person may need to take antibiotics.

If the sore throat has happened due to a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu, a person may not need medical treatment specifically, just rest, fluids, and fever-reducers or other over-the-counter medications for symptoms. Symptoms typically start to ease on their own after 1 week.

Learn more about how to treat a sore throat here.

Is there a vaccine for the norovirus?

There is currently no vaccine available for norovirus.

However, researchers are looking into a potential vaccine that could help prevent people from getting norovirus.

A vaccine could eliminate 90% of foodborne illnesses that cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Norovirus can cause dehydration, which could lead to serious complications. So, if a person experiences the following symptoms, they should seek emergency medical treatment:

Learn more about dehydration in adults here.

In children

In children, the following symptoms of dehydration could occur in addition to the above:

  • crying with fewer or no tears
  • unusual sleepiness
  • unusual fussiness

Learn more about dehydration in toddlers here.

The norovirus is not likely to cause a sore throat or many other upper respiratory symptoms.

Instead, the most common symptom of the norovirus is vomiting.

A person who experiences both upper respiratory and stomach-related symptoms may have contracted SARS-CoV-2, and they should consider having a test as soon as possible.

A person with upper respiratory symptoms but limited or no stomach-related issues may have a cold or flu.

If unsure about the cause, a person may wish to contact their doctor.