Norovirus vaccine proves effective in human tests, researchers say

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Clinical tests indicate that a potential norovirus vaccine is highly effective in reducing symptoms of the infection, researchers have announced.

The study involved 98 people who drank water dosed with norovirus, 50 of whom received the injected vaccine, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The researchers involved, led by David I. Bernstein, M.D., M.A., presented their findings at last week's IDWeek 2013 conference.

Among those who received the vaccine, 26 people were infected, the researchers said. In the other group, 29 people were infected. However, only 10 people who were vaccinated developed mild, moderate or severe vomiting and/or diarrhea, compared with 20 people in the placebo group. This means the vaccine achieved a 52% reduction in symptoms.

People in nursing homes are at high risk for norovirus and could benefit from the vaccine if further testing confirms its effectiveness, stated Bernstein, who is affiliated with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati.

Long-term care facilities bore the brunt of a norovirus outbreak that began a year ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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