Health News – Oysters may be an important reservoir for human noroviruses


Norovirus also known as “cruise-ship flu,” “stomach flu” or “winter vomiting flu” is one of the world’s most common causes of gastrointestinal distress. Although most patients recover after a few days of misery, and sometimes ruined vacations, the virus can be lethal to infants, older adults and people with weak immune systems. It is highly infectious, The unwashed hands of food workers have been blamed. now it has been found that tiny infectious droplets of vomit can fly through the air to infect other people, just as droplets from a sneeze do.

The scientists found that 80 percent of the known human noroviruses matched those found in oysters. The majority of the matches were in oysters from coastal waters, more likely to be contaminated with human sewage. There was a “convergence” between new strains circulating in oysters and those circulating in humans, the researchers also found. Oysters probably are an important reservoir for human noroviruses, a place where they can hide between outbreaks and mutate. From there also can be transmitted back to humans, presumably when oysters are eaten raw.

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