FREDERICTON -- Norovirus is circulating in New Brunswick, health officials warned Tuesday as they encouraged residents to take precautions.

"Norovirus can cause very unpleasant symptoms for a healthy person but for those with weakened immune systems it can cause serious illness," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's acting chief medical officer of health.

She says norovirus can be easily spread, so it is important to stay home from work and keep children home from school or daycare for a minimum of 48 hours.

Health officials in neighbouring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island said Tuesday they had no indication that norovirus is unusually prevalent in their provinces this year.

In a statement, P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Office said norovirus activity has actually been lower than expected this year.

"There have been some sporadic cases reported and a few norovirus outbreaks since late February, but lower than we would typically expect," it said.

Tracy Barron of Nova Scotia's Health Department said they had no numbers to provide, but "we have no indication that this is an unusual season in terms of the presence of the virus."

Symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. They usually appear suddenly, about 24 to 48 hours after a person becomes infected, and last eight to 12 hours.

People are encouraged to wash their hands frequently.