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Jason

Vaccine for 'cruise ship virus' arriving soon

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The dreaded "cruise ship virus" could sink into history some day, if a promising vaccine trial pans out.

Researchers report that an early test of an experimental vaccine for norovirus – the cause of a stomach sickness that fells scores of cruise ship passengers and nursing home residents, among others – reduced symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea by 52%.

Every year, norovirus sickens 19 million to 21 million Americans – or one in 15 – and kills as many as 800, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Early results of testing an experimental vaccine for norovirus appear positive, providing optimism that a vaccine can be developed for this common cause of gastroenteritis," said lead researcher Dr David Bernstein, a professor of paediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre and the University of Cincinnati.

"More testing will be necessary to ensure the vaccine is safe and effective," he said. "If this can be duplicated in larger trials, it could lead to the availability of a new vaccine for a very common illness."

The results of the study were to be presented at ID Week 2013, the infectious diseases society conference in San Francisco.

No treatment available

Currently, there is no treatment or cure for the highly contagious virus, the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children and adults.

Outbreaks occur in close quarters, such as health care facilities, child care centres, schools and military bases in addition to cruise ships, the researchers said.

The vaccine might be useful for people in any of those settings, Bernstein said. Ocean-going travellers, for instance, could add the vaccine to their to-do list before departure.

But first, Bernstein hopes to test the vaccine in a larger "real-world" trial.

Dr Jesse Reeves-Garcia, chief of the division of gastroenterology at Miami Children's Hospital, said the idea of a vaccine for norovirus is "fascinating".

"Norovirus ruins people's lives," he said. "They take a vacation, they take a cruise and spend three of four days in the toilet puking or pooping or both," he said.

A vaccine that's effective, safe and reasonably priced would be "great", Reeves-Garcia said. "It would be another sickness that I wouldn't see anymore."

Facts on Norovirus

Norovirus can spread through infected food or water, contaminated surfaces and even through the air.

Not everyone exposed to norovirus gets infected, and of those who are infected not all get sick, Bernstein said. But it is very common and can be serious, particularly for young children and older adults, he added.

A recent study found the overall cost of the disease in the United States is $5.5 billion a year, the researchers noted.

For the latest study, Bernstein's team randomly assigned 98 people, who agreed to drink water laced with the virus, to an injection of the vaccine or placebo.

Among those given the vaccine, 26 were infected as were 29 in the placebo group. Ten people in the vaccinated group had mild, moderate or severe vomiting and/or diarrhoea compared with 20 in the non-vaccinated group – a 52% reduction in symptoms.

The vaccine disarms two genotypes of norovirus, one of them the leading cause of US outbreaks, the study authors say.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

By Health24.com

For more cruise news & articles go to http://www.cruisecrazies.com/index.html

Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more

http://www.cruisecrazies.com

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Despite the media's desire to categorize Noro as a cruise ship illness there have been several recent reports of land based incidents. There was an outbreak in July at Yellowstone Park that sickened over 200 people, on that assaulted over 300 at a school near Miami 10 days ago. Unfortunately, the Celebrity Summit had to return to port this past Saturday with 300 ill

I don't need a vaccine to protect myself from Noro... flu, yes, Noro, no. All I need to do is wash my hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching my face and I'll be fine. If people would follow normal hygiene guidelines the incidents of Noro would decrease dramatically...

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I don't need a vaccine to protect myself from Noro... flu, yes, Noro, no. All I need to do is wash my hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching my face and I'll be fine. If people would follow normal hygiene guidelines the incidents of Noro would decrease dramatically...

We've been on cruises with outbreaks and, knock on wood, so far we've never had the virus. We do as stated above, "wash my hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching my face". We've also been on a couple of Holland America ships that had the virus on the cruise before. After the ship has been cleaned they use servers in the buffet line for the first couple of days of the cruise and normal table items like salt and pepper shakers are removed.

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I don't need a vaccine to protect myself from Noro... flu, yes, Noro, no. All I need to do is wash my hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching my face and I'll be fine. If people would follow normal hygiene guidelines the incidents of Noro would decrease dramatically...

We've been on cruises with outbreaks and, knock on wood, so far we've never had the virus. We do as stated above, "wash my hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching my face". We've also been on a couple of Holland America ships that had the virus on the cruise before. After the ship has been cleaned they use servers in the buffet line for the first couple of days of the cruise and normal table items like salt and pepper shakers are removed.

And that's precisely how it should be handled. Truth be told, the cruise lines handle Noro vastly better than any land based establishment...

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Noro virus originated as a land based illness in Norwalk, Conn. I think it was. The ship virus thing is a bad rap. It is very hard to eradicate on a ship. On the Connie in 2011 our boarding was delayed due to deep cleaning of the ship from NV on the previous cruise. As keith noted the crew followed meticulous precautions and even put S and P on your food but despite this the NV reemerged and affected our cruise inc.me. Personal precautions are great but no one can be perfect. It takes just one slip so I hope this vaccine will be developed as it would be help to so many.

Hello from India BTW. :smile: Had one bout of "Delhi belly" but not so bad. Glad I took cipro.

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We were in San Diego waiting to board Celebrity Mercury for our 15-day Hawaii trip when we were told the ship before us had Noro-virus. For about 3 days, we never touched any common items (butter, salt, pepper, etc, etc.) The ship closed off the common areas for about 5 days. No one got sick. Everyone used the hand sanitizer.

A vaccine would be interesting but certainly not something that I would take.

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As I recall they said the NV which hit us was treated to passengers returning from Jerusalem. While there I saw many people touching and even kissing religious iconic structures such as the holy seplecure and so on so this is very plausible to me.

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