Progress Made In Fight Against Norovirus
Researchers at the Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have reportedly come up with a vaccine for norovirus that is made from tobacco plants.
According to ABC 15 reports, norovirus affects nearly 20 million Americans every year. There is currently no vaccine because it's previously been difficult to produce in a lab. But, by using a form of the tobacco plant, the Arizona State researchers discovered that harmless bacteria would help grow a norovirus vaccine when appropriate genes are transferred to the tobacco leaves.
Real viruses are surrounded by a shell that protects their genes. The vaccine that grows inside the tobacco plant is basically a shell without the harmful pathogens inside. That's what makes these plant-based vaccines safe and effective, say reports.
The ASU researchers said plants are ideal for the research because they're cheap to work with and the resulting vaccines will be less expensive to produce.
While the vaccine is being developed, removing germs and viruses from facilities is still a legitimate strategy of infection prevention. When it comes to removing germs, microfiber can be very effective. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that when microfiber cleaning tools are used, as much as 99 percent of germs are removed, including norovirus.
Removal is essential, but cleaning workers can prevent the spread of germs by encouraging proper handwashing practices. Infection prevention begins with education on proper hand hygiene, which is the best way to stop the spread of norovirus.
Students and workers should wash their hands after using the restroom and before eating.
Posters, magnets, brochures and other memory aids that teach people to wash hands for the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” are a good start for an anti-norovirus campaign.
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