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Norovirus: Winter vomiting bug 'impressing' scientists

24 December 2012 Last updated at 23:59 GMT

"Norovirus is the Ferrari of the virus world," says Professor Ian Goodfellow, a Wellcome Trust fellow, who has been studying the virus for 10 years.

Commonly known as the Winter vomiting bug, it has caused over 3000 confirmed cases of vomiting and diarrhoea since the Summer in England and Wales.

For most people it leads to a mild illness and disappears in 2-3 days with no long-lasting effects.

And good old-fashioned hand-washing can help stop it spreading from person to person.

But researchers have been trying to find a cure for over 40 years and it continues to evade them.

Prof Goodfellow explains that while most healthy people can get rid of it quite quickly, it poses much more of a challenge for the science world.

(The computer generated image of norovirus was produced by Dr David Bhella of the Medical Research Council with the aid of research published in the journal Science)

Video journalist: Smitha Mundasad