Faeces for Norovirus



Loading a Norovirus PCR assay

  • Testing for Norovirus is normally only performed in the context of a known or suspected outbreak
  • The aim of testing is to identify the cause of an outbreak and not to identify every individual case
  • The Infection Control team and laboratory must be informed about all suspected outbreaks
  • Testing is initially performed on up to 6 samples from an outbreak. Once an outbreak has been attributed to Norovirus, further testing is not generally indicated.
  • Staff must be provided with specimen pots and microbiology forms at the start of an outbreak. If they become symptomatic they should send stool samples for testing via their GP or dropped off at the pathology department reception. State "member of staff on ward (state ward name) affected by norovirus" in clinical details. Request on form that results are returned to Occupational Health Department and GP. Support service and medical staff must be included.
  • The laboratory does not accept vomit samples
  • See also:

Sample requirements

Stool container with spoon

Do not contaminate with urine

For liquid stools do not fill pot more than half full

Stool container with spoon

Required information

  • State if patient or healthcare worker
  • If healthcare worker, state place of work


Transport as soon as possible. If transport is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at room temperature.

Turnaround time

1 - 3 days

Page last reviewed: 06/02/2015