Researchers at N.C. State and Wake Forest universities have created a machine to prove that vomiting can spread norovirus-like particles in the air.
A study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE provides the first direct evidence that vomiting can “aerosolize,”or send particles into the air, thus making the virus more easily transmitted. Norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide.
The research leads to a better understanding of how norovirus is transmitted and could prevent infection. Airborne particles from vomit can land on other people or onto surfaces like door handles, creating environmental hazard, researchers said.
The research team developed a vomiting device that allowed them to precisely control the volume, viscosity and pressure of simulated vomiting in the lab.