"Norwalk-like viruses" (NLVs) are the most common cause of outbreaks of nonbacterial gastroenteritis. During molecular surveillance of NLV strains from 152 outbreaks of gastroenteritis that occurred in the US between August 1993 and July 1997, we identified an NLV strain that predominated during the 1995-1996 season. The "95/96-US" strain caused 60 outbreaks in geographically distant locations within the US and was identified, by sequence comparisons, in an additional 7 countries on 5 continents during the same period. This is the first demonstration linking a single NLV strain globally and suggests that the circulation of these strains might involve patterns of transmission not previously considered. The diagnostic techniques are now available to establish a global network for surveillance of NLV strains that would highlight the importance of NLVs worldwide and allow molecular identification of common strains having a global distribution so as to consider interventions for their control.