Researchers: This seaweed can protect against norovirus infections

Seaweed could protect against infection with dangerous noroviruses

The norovirus is one of the most common pathogens of infectious gastrointestinal diseases. In extreme cases, such infections can be fatal. In order to prevent infection with the dangerous noroviruses, certain hygiene measures should be observed. Researchers have now found that seaweed could also protect against infection with the virus.

Sometimes life-threatening gastrointestinal diseases

Infection with noroviruses usually hits people surprisingly quickly and violently. Gastrointestinal infections usually begin suddenly with violent diarrhea, nausea and gushing vomiting. In addition, there is often a strong feeling of illness with muscle and abdominal pain, occasionally with a slight fever and headache. The symptoms usually go away completely after a day or two, but in extreme cases the diseases become life-threatening. There is no vaccine or medication. Only the symptoms can be treated. But you can protect yourself against infection, possibly with seaweed, as researchers have found.

Protect against norovirus infections

In order to prevent norovirus infections, certain hygiene measures should be followed.

Washing your hands carefully after each use of the toilet, before preparing food and before eating, after using public transport or other contact with many people can help to break the chain of infection.

The toilet should be cleaned several times a day in the acute vomiting and diarrhea phase. “Critical” areas in the bathroom such as door handles and fittings must also be cleaned thoroughly.

Rubber gloves should be worn when cleaning and the cleaning cloths should be changed more frequently. In the acute phase, disposable wipes are recommended due to the high number of viruses.

Dishes can be cleaned in the dishwasher as usual and therefore also in the dishwasher. Linen and towels should be washed with a detergent at a minimum of 60 degrees.

German scientists have now found another way of preventing illnesses caused by norviruses.

Drug should be developed in the coming years

As the "Berliner Morgenpost" reports, components from sea grass could prevent infection with the norovirus.

According to the newspaper report, this is indicated by a study by German researchers headed by the University of Cologne, which will shortly be published in the journal "Journal of Biological Chemistry".

Accordingly, the dangerous germs in intestinal cells dock onto the sugar fucose. According to the authors, if the sugar were supplied in sufficient quantities from other sources, the viruses would pounce instead.

Seaweed is said to be a promising source. According to the information, the researchers want to develop a corresponding preparation within the next few years. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Presentation by Dr. David Dyjack, Executive Director, National Environmental Health Association (October 2021).