Every year, norovirus, better known as the stomach flu,infects 21-million Americans, sending 70,000 to the hospital and killing 800. It causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Infectious Disease Specialist John Treanor says even when you feel better you're still very contagious.
"Although you recover quickly, you continue to shed it from your body for many, many days afterwards and it only takes the tiniest dose to infect the next person, " Dr. Treanor explains.
Early studies of a nasal vaccine for the stomach flu showed promise, but not as much as expected. Treanor and his team are now testing an injectable vaccine in people.
"What we've seen with the injectable vaccine," he says,"is that the antibody levels that are generated are much higher than we're seeing with the nasal vaccine."
Researchers are continuing their testing of the vaccine. Because norovirus can evolve quickly, once the vaccine hits the market, it may have to be updated and re-administered from time to time. While norovirus is commonly called the stomach flu, it is not related to the influenza virus.