The key difference between norovirus and rotavirus is that norovirus is a non-enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus, while rotavirus is a non-enveloped double-stranded RNA virus.
Viruses are small infectious particles that cause various diseases in human, plants and animals. They are obligate intracellular parasites. Therefore, they replicate within the host organism. Their infection causes mild to severe diseases. Norovirus and rotavirus are two types of viruses that are highly contagious. Both cause diarrheal diseases. Moreover, both are RNA viruses. Since they belong to two different viral families, there is a distinct difference between norovirus and rotavirus.
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. Hence, it is also popular as the winter vomiting bug. Moreover, it is a very contagious virus that belongs to family Caliciviridae. There are different types of noroviruses. They contain single-stranded, positive-sense RNA genome. Moreover, norovirus causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines. The common symptoms of noroviral infections are diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, loss of taste and stomach pain. The faecal-oral route is the main pathway of norovirus infection. Thus, contaminated food and water, person to person contact and touching of surfaces contaminated with noroviruses are several transmission modes of norovirus.
Normally noroviral infection causes dehydration. Hence, one way of getting rid of norovirus is drinking plenty of liquids. Furthermore, washing hands thoroughly with soap and water is another way of preventing noroviral infections.
What is Rotavirus?
Rotavirus is a genus of viruses that commonly causes diarrheal diseases among infants and young children. There are nine species of rotaviruses: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I. These viruses belong to family Reoviridae. Moreover, they contain double-stranded RNA genome. Similar to norovirus, rotavirus transmits through the faecal-oral route. Contaminated food, water and surfaces are the main modes of spreading this virus.
Nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhoea, low-grade fever, decreased urination, dry mouth and throat, feeling dizzy when standing up, crying with few or no tears and unusual sleepiness or fussiness are symptoms of rotaviral infections.
What are the Similarities Between Norovirus and Rotavirus?
- Norovirus and rotavirus are two viruses that cause diarrheal disease
- Both viruses are transmitted by the faecal-oral route.
- Also, both are highly contagious viruses.
- Drinking plenty of water/liquids is one of the best ways that can eliminate both.
- Both viruses cause diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and dehydration.
- Moreover, there is no specific medicine to treat both viral diseases.
- Both viruses are non-enveloped.
- Besides, they are icosahedral in shape.
What is the Difference Between Norovirus and Rotavirus?
Norovirus is a positive sense single-stranded RNA virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. On the other hand, rotavirus is a double-stranded RNA virus that causes diarrheal disease among infants and young children. So, this is the key difference between norovirus and rotavirus. Moreover, the structural difference between norovirus and rotavirus is that norovirus contains a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA genome, while rotavirus contains double-stranded RNA genome.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between norovirus and rotavirus.
Summary – Norovirus vs Rotavirus
In brief, norovirus and rotavirus are two viruses that commonly cause diarrheal diseases. Norovirus is a positive sense, single-stranded RNA virus, while rotavirus is a double-stranded RNA virus. Thus, this is the key difference between norovirus and rotavirus. Norovirus affects all ages, while rotavirus rarely affects adults. Moreover, rotavirus affects infants and young children.
1. Nordqvist, Christian. “Norovirus: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 22 Dec. 2017, Available here.
2. “Rotavirus.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 June 2019, Available here.
1. “Norwalk” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”Rotavirus Reconstruction” By w:User:Graham Beards – w:User:Graham Beards created this work entirely by himself. Transfer from English Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia