Monday, September 24, 2012

Norovirus Vaccine Showing Promise

Listen up cruisers… this is something worth taking note of! Scientists are getting closer to producing a vaccine against norovirus- a traveler’s worst nightmare! And although cruise ship outbreaks get most of the publicity, in actuality, most cases (around 60 percent) occur in long-term care facilities, such as homes for the elderly.

Because norovirus evolves rapidly, a vaccine may need to be administered every year, similar to the flu vaccine. Lab tests show it might be most effective when given as a nasal spray.  The first available vaccines, although still years away, would likely be targeted toward at-risk populations, including children in daycare, the elderly, and thankfully, travelers.

According to the CDC, until the time when the vaccine becomes readily available, the best way to prevent norovirus infection is to wash your hands with soap and water before eating or preparing food.

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