TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Scientists close in on vaccine for stomach flu

Daily Photo Galleries

By Bloomberg
Saturday, June 29, 2013, 6:42 p.m.
 

TOKYO — As a new strain of stomach flu leaves a trail of stomach-clenching illness from Sydney to San Diego, scientists are moving closer to thwarting it for good.

Early-stage human studies on a vaccine against norovirus, the top source of gastroenteritis in the United States, are set to finish this year. A course of shots may confer lifelong protection against 95 percent of strains, said Rajeev Venkayya, who heads Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.'s vaccines unit.

A norovirus vaccine would be a boon to cruise ships, schools and nursing homes struggling to deal with a highly contagious, untreatable scourge. Of the 21 million people infected in the United States annually, about 800 die, mostly the very young and the elderly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Given the highly infectious nature of norovirus and its ability to cause extensive outbreaks in hospitals, elder-care facilities and cruise ships, there is a need for prophylactic and preventative approaches to guard against infection,” said Peter White, a microbiology professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Norovirus can be caught from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces, according to the CDC.

If approved, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.'s norovirus vaccine would be the first to protect people against the germ.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Budget reflects stakes for India
  2. Putin foe Nemtsov’s killing nets odd theory
  3. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expected to confront Obama on Iran
  4. Series of Islamic State terrorist attacks kills 37 in, north of Baghdad
  5. Iraq opens museum of antiquities in defiance of Islamic State terrorists
  6. Hamas labeled terrorists by Egypt
  7. Storied Poland leftist party struggling
  8. China slowdown spurs interest rate cuts
  9. Shelling claims Ukrainian journalist
  10. ‘Barbarity’ of Jordanian pilot’s killing disgusts Arab world
  11. Iraqi troops near strike to reclaim Tikrit