A big question many scientists have been seeking to answer is if norovirus, a common cause of gastroenteritis, is aerosolized. This could possibly occur when an infected host vomits. A new paper in PLoS one tests just that, using a vomiting machine with a clay face on it and a bacteriophage surrogate for norovirus to simulate the mechanism for aerosolization. A video demonstration of the machine can be found here.
The authors found that the act of vomiting did indeed cause aerosolization, and that the titer and viscosity of the bacteriophage proxy had an effect on how much “vomit” was captured (in other words, transferred to another surface).
A lot of news outlets have picked this story up. Some articles can be found here: