American scientists are developing a nasal spray that protects the body against the norovirus bug.
Scientists from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas found that successful trials of the device almost halved the risk of the winter vomiting bug.
The vaccine is inhaled as a dry powder spray and contains tiny amounts of the virus to help the body trigger immunity without displaying the symptoms.
The highly contagious norovirus bug spreads around the body quickly and causes nausea, excessive vomiting, diarrhoea and a high fever. Scientists hope that their nasal spray will rapidly reduce the number of norovirus victims, which claims between 600,000 to one million Brits a year.
"This is the first demonstration of protection in humans against what is a widespread and often serious illness," says Robert Atmar from the study.
"The number of hospitalisations and the healthcare costs associated with norovirus are staggering; a successful vaccine against norovirus would offer significant protection to patients as well as potential cost reductions for the healthcare system."
Last year, record numbers of norovirus were reported due to the coldest winter in 30 years and this year isn't faring any better with 14 hospital wards being closed due to outbreak last week in the UK.
Recently it was discovered that three quarters of British oysters contain the norovirus.
Protect yourself from more winter bugs with our round-up of the best natural remedies to fight colds and flu.
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