What Will They Think of Next? A Vomit Machine for Studying Norovirus!

A summary of a recent report from NBC news:

Yuck! Vomit Machine Shows Why Norovirus Spreads So Fast

Here’s an excerpt:

They used another virus called MS2 that’s similar to norovirus, that doesn’t make people sick and that’s easy to grow in the lab.,,

“We think that there’s a at least a million particles released in a vomiting event and maybe more.”

Not all of it goes into the air. In fact, very little did in their experiments. But it was enough. They estimate that as many as 13,000 virus particles can be released into the air with a single retch. They made a video that shows how it works.

“There was evidence of aerosolized MS2 after every simulated vomiting episode,” they wrote in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

People can be infected with as few as 20 to 1,300 microscopic viral particles, so their study shows that vomiting could indeed spread the infection through the air….

“WHEN ONE PERSON VOMITS, THE AEROSOLIZED VIRUS PARTICLES CAN GET INTO ANOTHER PERSON’S MOUTH AND, IF SWALLOWED, CAN LEAD TO INFECTION.”

“There are 21 million cases of human norovirus infection in the U.S. each year, and this virus genus is now recognized as the leading cause of outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis,” the researchers wrote.

It kills up to 800 people a year in the U.S. alone and puts 70,000 into the hospital, so understanding how it spread sand finding ways to stop it could prevent many illnesses, the researchers said.

Related blog posts: