The New York Department of Environmental conservation is advising food establishments to avoid using or selling shellfish harvested from areas in the town of Oyster Bay, N.Y. According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, harvesting is no longer allowed in that area because of an illness outbreak caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a naturally occurring marine bacteria.
All of the underwater land in Oyster Bay Harbor in an area from the stone house on Plum Point to the northwestern point of Cover Point on Cove Neck are closed for harvest. This include about 1,980 acres on the north shore of Oyster Bay. You can see the map at the New York DEC site.
Three people who ate raw or undercooked shellfish in Nassau County have become ill. And five more people in other states are sick after eating shellfish harvested in Oyster Bay. The Vibrio bacteria increase in numbers when the water warms. Symptoms of Vibrio infections include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal and stomach cramps, fever, and chills. Most illnesses resolve within a few days, but some people can become sick enough to require hospitalization.
If you have eaten shellfish recently and are ill, please see your healthcare provider as soon as possible. For temporary emergency shellfish closure information, you can call the DEC hotline at 631-444-0480.