For any student, the news that classes are canceled is like hitting the jackpot. An unexpected day off with no worries, no exams, and nothing to do.

Unless, of course, the reason for the cancellation is that a significant portion of the campus has fallen ill with norovirus - sometimes referred to as the "stomach flu." That is a different type of day off altogether and one that happened at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) last week. 

It is not uncommon for a college to be affected by a norovirus outbreak. Settings such as a campus are where norovirus can do the most damage - where many people live in close quarters. Norovirus has been known to send cruise ships to the docks when an outbreak emerges onboard. 

Norovirus is relatively common, causing 19-21...

Quick quiz: What is the world's most deadly human pathogen for which there is no vaccine? Since the title, unfortunately, must precede the article, you already know the answer. Norovirus, which is incorrectly called the "stomach flu," isn't a virus that most people would associate with death (although you may prefer to be dead if you catch it), but its annual death toll is estimated to be 200,000, mostly due to dehydration in developing areas that lack clean water.

But a group at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis may have discovered what makes the bug so nasty which may also represent a possible way to exploit this nastiness to help discover a badly-needed drug or vaccine.

To add to its splendid array of qualities, norovirus, which got its name...

The most recent Olympic Games have had their own infectious disease crises. In the Rio summer games of 2016, Zika virus was a major concern for some athletes. In fact, some athletes and other personnel opted out of going to the Olympics at all, even though the chance of contracting Zika virus was very small. 

This year's winter Olympic Games have not even started yet, and there is already an infectious disease crisis happening. The culprit is norovirus and it's creating a stomachache for the Olympic organizers in Seoul. 

What is norovirus? 

Norovirus, otherwise known as the "stomach bug", has two major qualities. First, it is terrible when you get it, causing almost non-stop vomiting and diarrhea for a short, but significant amount of time (usually...

With winter approaching, perhaps you or somebody you know will be unlucky enough to catch a nasty "stomach flu" or "24-hour flu," which will allow you to spend some quality time in the bathroom. And while you will almost certainly feel better within 24-72 hours, here's the catch: There's no such thing as the stomach/24-hour flu.

This widespread misconception stems from the fact that so many people don't understand what the flu actually is. The flu is caused by the influenza virus, different strains of which take on names such as H1N1 or H5N1. (Our own Dr Julianna LeMieux has eloquently explained these weird names.) The seasonal flu is a potentially serious infection for the...

satanI've been writing about viruses quite a bit lately (for obvious reasons), so it is only fitting that this week, people in my office all of a sudden started coming down with one. And a nasty one at that. What was it? Let's just let the incomparable Walt "Clyde" Frazier (1) answer:


He and I are talking about norovirus Satan's personal favorite biohazard.

First of all, you can take most of the medical advice about ways to avoid catching...

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 1.39.13 PMThere is a saying about the erroneously named stomach flu or winter vomiting disease: It doesn t kill you, but you may wish that it did. Not only is the name wrong, but so is the saying.

The heinous culprit that causes 1-2 days of utter misery is norovirus, which is short for Norwalk Virus. (It was first characterized in 1968 in Norwalk, Ohio). Too bad they didn't keep it there.

Although norovirus isn't even remotely related to influenza, they both provide a tough challenge for vaccine researchers antigenic drift, aka mutation. Both viruses are...

The latest in health news: Norovirus may meet its demise in the form of a vaccine, a GM bill introduced in Congress could halt labeling, and cereal fiber could be the key to longevity

Dr. Josh Bloom on Science 2.0, November 11, 2014

Named after the location of first documented outbreak (Norwalk Ohio in 1968) norovirus, aka the "Stomach Flu," "Winter Vomiting Bug," or the "Cruise Ship Virus" is an evil little demon that spares no one. There are few, if any of us, who haven't experienced its misery; it infects 21 million people annually in the...[Read more].

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 1.13.29 PMJonel Aleccia of NBC News took on a rather unpleasant subject norovirus (aka the stomach flu or the winter vomiting bug) in his recent article.

Although it is an intriguing topic, and dispels some myths, the overall message that if you simply avoid eating at restaurants (especially the salad bars) you will dodge this hideous infection is misleading.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom, who spent many years in antiviral research while he was employed in...

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 1.12.44 PMGiven our interest in both infectious diseases and vaccines, it is not surprising that we at ACSH have been following the progress of the first ever vaccine against norovirus, aka the stomach flu, or the cruise ship virus.

Norovirus is the second most common infection in the U.S. (second only to the common cold) averaging about 20 million cases per year, resulting in about 60 thousand...