The state of Massachusetts has closed Duxbury, Plymouth, Marshfield, and Kingston Bay Complex to commercial oyster harvesting because of an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This is the first time those waters have been closed, despite a two-year effort of government and industry to implement safeguards against that bacteria.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is currently investigating an outbreak of more than 40 people sickened by Vibrio this summer. Some of those illnesses have been definitively attributed to cultured oysters from that specific growing area. There is no wild harvest on those waters.
All oysters harvested from this area that are in commerce are being recalled. The closure is in effect from August 30, 2013 until further notice.
The symptoms of a Vibrio infection include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. The symptoms begin within 24 hours of exposure. Most people are sickened after eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters.