If you are fond of eating pizza, you may have noticed that its oil has a characteristic aroma and flavour. These characteristics are brought about by its component, oregano oil, an herbal oil taken from oregano, a herb with potential health benefits. Recently, there is news that oregano oil can help prevent winter vomiting disease, a gastrointestinal illness caused by norvovirus infection
Winter vomiting disease is caused by norvovirus infection, and causes rapid onset of symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping and other signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis. After infection, a person may also feel tired, have headaches, have muscle aches and have low-grade fevers with chills. All these symptoms are stipulated to last for about one to two days. Since this is a viral illness, medications are not necessary and supportive treatment may be needed to prevent dehydration.
Norvovirus infections can cause about 90% of non bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. Outbreaks may happen in places where people gather together and have close contact, such as in hospitals, prisons, schools, dorms and nursing homes. The virus is transmissible from person to person by means of contaminated food and water or even by contaminated surfaces.
Once a norvovirus enters the body, it then attaches to the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. The virus then penetrates the cells and makes the person vomit and have diarrhea. Studies have shown that the virus attaches to cells through its external coat or capsid then further escapes the body's immune defenses to target people with specific blood groups. The signs and symptoms of the illness start within 12 to 48 hours of contact or incubation period. After infection, affected people may then exhibit various signs and symptoms rapidly such as nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and loss of taste. Diarrhea becomes frequent at a rate of numerous episodes of watery stools within 12-24 hours. They may also develop abdominal discomfort and cramping. Diarrhea may result in dehydration or the loss of body water. However, these symptoms may disappear after 2 to 3 days, however people who are affected by dehydration may develop complications such as electrolyte imbalances, coma and even death.
Norvovirus and Oregano Oil
Recent news has it that a group of scientists from the University of Arizona have found out that a certain substance from oregano oil can be effective against norvovirus infection. The component, called carvacrol, is responsible for the distinct aroma and flavour of oregano oil, and is also responsible for breaking down the outer coat of the norvovirus. This study used the mouse model to detect if carvacrol may indeed have antiviral activities especially against the Norvovirus. The virus used in this experiment was similar to the viruses that exhibit resistance to antimicrobials and disinfectants. Carvacrol acts directly on the capsid of the virus, which is a tough layer of proteins that surround the virus. This would then give the antimicrobial the chance to enter the internal parts of the virus so that it can be killed.
The researchers think that the results of this study are favourable since it can suggest the use of carvacrol as components of sanitizers later on in conjunction with other antimicrobials. Carvacrol is also said to be slow acting than disinfectants so that it has the potential to create long-lasting effects on disinfection. It is also more unlikely that the virus can cause resistance to this substance. This substance is also safe and non-corrosive. However, the drawback is that carvacrol cannot be ingested since it can cause a burning sensation and numbness of the tongue, though it creates no toxicity.
You can read our other articles on viral infections on this site.