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

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Jacob Tremblay tells Langley film fest about playing a boy with facial differences

It was a long stay in a makeup chair, but it could have been even longer

Langley Rivermen inviting fans to anti-bullying painting party

Come down to George Preston Recreation Centre Wednesday night to take stand against bullying

Update: Eyewitnesses kept driver who hit Langley pedestrian from fleeing (with video)

Police issue tickets for multiple offences after Sunday incident

VIDEO: A Langley man travels coast-to-coast to honour Canada’s national symbol

The “Beaver appreciation tour” was timed for country’s 150th birthday

Update: Police report “physical altercation” during Langley gas station holdup (with video)

Incident on Glover Road involving armed robber draws massive police response

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Fallen cedar knocks out Otter area power

Strong gusts of wind caused an entire cedar to split off and crash into power lines

Aldergrove U18 soccer boys keep on win streak

Aldergrove’s boys prevailed in this game and have a 8 win, 1 tie and 2 loss record

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

Most Read