Nothing worse than the stomach flu, and this strain of Norovirus spreads fast and won't come off with typical hand sanitizers. While the typical Norovirus infects 23 million people a year, this one (infecting 58% of gastroenteritis cases) packs a punch.
With the disease all over door handles and handrails, counters and corners, how should you avoid getting sick? Please, Do not put your hands in your mouth for any reason!
Check out the recent ABC new coverage:
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According to the National Institute of Health, Norovirus has “an incubation period of 24–48 hours and resolution of symptoms within 12–72 hours . Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea with or without nausea and abdominal cramps. Low-grade fever and malaise can also develop.”
Noroviruses, known as an RNA virus, was discovered as recently as 1968. RNA viruses replicate quickly and evolve by creating something known as mutant swarms. This means a large infected population can increase a virus’s “fitness” enabling the disease to spread through a population rapidly. Diseases like Hepatitis and HIV-1 are examples of RNA viruses. This ability to replicate and change quickly is the reason it is difficult to create vaccines for RNA viruses. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Norovirus.
Why does it make you vomit?
Norovirus causes vomiting by irritating the mucus membranes lining the intestinal tract. The virus inflames the “pyloric junction,” or the connection between the stomach and intestine. This swelling prevents the stomach from emptying and … ah you can guess the rest. If you’re vomiting, do not attempt to eat any food. The best treatment is to stay hydrated by sipping fluids containing electrolytes.
Is there anything that can stop it?
On a positive note, grape seed extract has been shown to break apart the virus’s protective coating, scattering its infectious contents. Viruses have an outer shell, known as a capsid, that attaches to its target cell. Once attached, it dumps its genetic material into the cell with instructions to replicate. Our own cells make viruses until the cells burst, spewing more viruses to attack more cells. In laboratory tests, Norovirus cells that were exposed to GSE [grape seed extract] clumped together, deformed and inflated, reducing the virus’ binding capability and infectivity (Li, 2012). Eat it, wipe the counters with it, add it to the laundry.
The following NPR video explains how viruses infect our cells.
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What is Grape Seed Extract?
Grape seed extract has been shown to be helpful for many other conditions, and it does no harm to healthy human cells. "The seeds of grapes are loaded with vitamin E, linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid), various flavonoids (including epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate, quercitin, kaempferol, and luteolin, among others) and OPCs (USDA, 2003)." While you may want to head down to the health food store for grape seed extract, you can also chew the seeds that come inside grapes.