Nasal Spray for Norovirus Could be Emetophobic’s New Best Friend

happy daisy flowerProtection against norovirus may soon be right under your nose, literally, with a new nasal spray in the works. OK, the debut of this new nasal spray is still estimated at about four years down the line, but that’s still good news when you’re suffering from emetophobia.

Norovirus is a major enemy for most emetohpobics due to its penchant for making people vomit. Just the thought of the virus may be enough to stir up a cauldron of vomit fears, but this nasal spray may be able to come to the rescue against the evil bug.

How It Works 

The nasal spray is a vaccine against norovirus which can effectively target areas where the virus lurks, according to a report in UK’s The Telegraph. Typical needle-administered vaccines don’t work against norovirus since they result in antibodies flowing merrily through the bloodstream.

Merry as those antibodies may be, they do no good for attacking norovirus, which infects a single-cell layer in your intestine. Send antibodies through your body’s mucus-producing system, however, and you’re targeting norovirus where it hurts.

Such antibodies are able to attack germs festering in your intestines, mouth, nose – and even your eyes. The squirt of vaccine powder that goes up your nose is expected to protect users anywhere from six months to two years.

How It Was Developed

Researchers presented their dandy nasal spray concept at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, noting they grew dummy virus cells in plants to create the vaccine.

The virus cells attack the plant leaves and then build up to form harmless shells. These shells look the same as the norovirus yet do not produce the horrific side effects the virus brings. Scientists then mix the faux virus particles with a powder from the aloe plant, producing a substance that easily sticks to the inside of your nose.

  • You take a snort of the powdery substance
  • It sticks in your nose long enough for your body to learn how to fend off what it thinks is a harmful virus
  • The rest of your mucus system knows what to do once it encounters the real norovirus in your intestine

So What’s the Holdup?

Producing the vaccine on a large scale is already possible, with Arizona State University professor Charles Arntzen noting they can create 10 million doses of the stuff in about two weeks.

The holdup is coming from the regulatory end of things and the financial end of things. Once the product gets the nod from regulatory bodies and enough funding to move forward, Arntzen said the norovirus spray could be available in three to four years.

Scientists are also hoping to improve the spray a bit before it hits the market. Animal testing saw the spray was effective in about half the cases, and it only alleviated norovirus symptoms without getting rid of them altogether.

Arntzen said their goal is to make the spray 80 percent effective and go through the gamut of clinical trials before it can gain approval. The cost of the spray would stay below $45 and folks would need one or two initial doses, followed by another booster dose.


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