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Norovirus: The winter vomiting bug that is hard to conquer (video)

'Vomiting Larry' is busy being sick over and over again in an experiment to test just how far the winter vomiting bug can travel when it makes you ill.

Lucky for Larry, he is not a constantly retching human - but a simulated vomiting system that shows the virus can travel an impressive 3m (9.8ft) in a projectile episode, according to his creators at the Health and Safety Laboratory.

The winter vomiting bug (norovirus) has been responsible for an estimated 880,000 cases of vomiting and diarrhoea in the UK since the summer.

It is a hardy virus that clearly spreads with ease - one of the few infections you really can catch from a toilet seat, or even from the air in the bathroom if an infected person has recently pulled the flush.

Luckily most people make a full recovery in a few days, but for anyone who is already vulnerable - people who are already unwell or in their later years for example - it can pose a serious threat.

It was first noticed when 150 children at the Norwalk-Bronson Elementary School in Ohio were all struck down with the bug in 1968.

This 40-year-old incident is now eternalised in medical history, making up the first part of the virus's name.

And unsuspecting groups of students continue to be knocked down by its tenacious grip on the small intestine.

A girls' football team from Canada was taken ill after a team-mate developed the illness - but she had had no contact with them.

The culprit was a grocery bag in the corner of the bathroom she had used.

Comments (1)

  1. Good video - thanks. My only website is my band's - so enjoy! Will keep the bleach bottle handy I guess... Jennie Williams RN

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