Scientists: Norovirus Has Potential to Infect Millions

Posted on: 3:59 pm, December 31, 2012, by , updated on: 05:40pm, December 31, 2012

(Photo Credit: MGN Online)

(Photo Credit: MGN Online)

Scientists are busy studying a virus they say is hitting harder and earlier this winter, and with the potential to infect millions around the globe, according to Reuters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the norovirus infects about 21 million people each year. Of those infections, 70,000 are hospitalized and another 800 die from the illness. The virus’ most notable symptoms are uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea.

British researchers are utilizing “Larry”, a humanoid simulated vomiting system, to test the contagiousness of the norovirus. They’ve found just a droplet of vomit or feces has the potential to infect more than 100,000 people, making it an extremely efficient illness. The virus is also reportedly constantly changing, making it difficult to control and prevent.

Doctors and scientists say one of the most effective ways to prevent the norovirus is to wash hands for at least 15 seconds, and dry completely. Hand sanitizers do not kill the virus, so washing hands and surfaces thoroughly is the best way to avoid it.

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