Dozens of British Columbians sickened after eating raw oysters

B.C. Centre for Disease Control records illnesses from Vancouver Island to Metro Vancouver

An investigation is underway after more than 70 people have gotten sick since early December from eating raw or lightly cooked oysters, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

“Testing in several of the cases confirmed the presence of norovirus, and we suspect norovirus in the others,” said Dr. Eleni Galanis, an epidemiologist at the CDC. “We don’t currently have a smoking gun.”

Officials say cases have been reported to Island Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and the First Nations Health Authority.

READ: Tofino faces shellfish closures after norovirus outbreak hits 120

Shellfish harvesting closures are being discussed with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which is investigating along with Environment Canada, Health Canada and the B.C. health authorities.

The centre has received reports of norovirus since Christmastime, but Galanis said the link between it and raw oyster consumption only became clear this week.

Last year saw an unusually high number of oyster-related norovirus outbreaks, she said, and this particular outbreak is also quite large.

Norovirus can cause constant vomiting and diarrhoea. She said it can be concentrated in oysters because they filter large amounts of ocean water.

The CDC recommends that people abstain from eating raw or lightly cooked oysters, particularly as this outbreak is occurring.

“Cooking at 90 degreees for 90 seconds will kill all microorganisms,” Galanis said.

Anyone who feels ill after consuming any type of shellfish should call B.C. HealthLink at 811 and see a doctor if symptoms are serious. If you suspect that your illness is linked to eating raw or lightly cooked oysters, you should report it to your local health authority.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Corruption no longer dogs Yale First Nation

A return to traditional governance helps to turn the tide

Emil Anderson earns multiple provincial contractor awards

Family-run companies with a long history in the FV were recognized for excellence in grading and community service

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Chilliwack-Hope MP gives a pre-Christmas ribbing in rhyme in Parliament

Conservative Mark Strahl gets his poem in before Liberal Rodger Cuzner rises to do same

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Homes in Hope sparkling for the holidays: Part 1

Hope photographer Ray Daws shares some festive sights

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read