September 15, 2019

Oysters From Mexico Linked to Multistate Shigella Vibrio Outbreak

Oysters from Mexico are linked to a multistate Shigella, Vibrio, E. coli, Campylobacter, and norovirus outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some patients were sickened with more than one pathogen. This outbreak was reported by the California Department of Public Health on May 7, 2019; all of the patients at that time lived in California.

Oysters From Mexico Linked to Multistate Shigella Vibrio Outbreak

Now 16 people from five states are ill in this outbreak. Two people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. No deaths have been reported. One recall, by DiCarlo Seafood in Wilmington, California, has been issued.

The case count by state is: Alaska (1), California (12), Illinois (1), New Hampshire (1), and Nevada (1). Illness onset dates range from December 16, 2018 to April 4, 2019. The patient age range is from 26 to 80 years.

In interviews, 15 people said they ate raw oysters from different restaurants in California and Nevada. State health officials collected traceback information and found that the oysters were shipped by SOL AZUL, S.A. DE C.V. (MX 01 SS) and harvested from Estero El Cardon (an estuary). That estuary was closed to oyster harvesting on May 7, 2019.

The CDC says to not eat, serve, or sell oysters harvested form Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Restaurants and retailers should clean and sanitize any reusable containers, food contact surfaces, and utensils that come into contact with these raw oysters and their juice.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

You can contact lawyer Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900.

Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker said, “While raw oysters have been linked to various food poisoning outbreaks in the past, the number of different pathogens in these oysters from Mexico is incredible. All can cause serious illness, as we see since two patients have been hospitalized.”

These are the pathogens and the number of patients sickened by each:

  • Three cases of Shigella flexneri infection
  • Three cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection
  • One case of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) non-O157 co-infection
  • One case of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Shigella flexneri co-infection
  • One case of Shigella flexneri and Campylobacter lari co-infection
  • One case of Vibrio albensis infection
  • One case of norovirus genogroup 1 infection
  • One case of infection with Vibrio of unknown species
  • Four cases of illness without a pathogen identified

PulseNet performed whole genome sequencing on the Vibrio and Shigella patient samples and found that they are closely related genetically. That means those people are likely to share a common source of infection.

Symptoms of these infections typically include nausea, vomiting, fever, stomach and abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Vibrio, Shigella, E. coli, and Campylobacter infections can have serious complications that can threaten your health. If you have eaten raw oysters from Mexico and have been sick with these symptoms, see your doctor.

Many people should avoid eating raw oysters, including the elderly, the very young, and anyone with a compromised immune system or chronic illness. To safely prepare oysters in the shell, they should be boiled until the shells opened and then boiled another 3-5 minutes, or steamed for 4-9 minutes. Only eat oysters that close when they are alive and open after they are cooked.

Shucked oysters should be boiled for at least 3 minutes, fried in oil for at least 3 minutes, broiled 3″ from the heat for at least 3 minutes, or baked at 450°F for 10 minutes.

Bad Bug Law Team | Pritzker Law Firm

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Shigella, Vibrio, E. coli, or Campylobacter infection after eating raw oysters from Mexico, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900.

Pritzker Hageman law firm helps people sickened by contaminated food get answers, compensation and justice. Our attorneys have represented patients and families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against importers, processors, food manufacturers, restaurants, retailers, schools, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker won a $7.5 million judgment on behalf of a young client whose kidneys failed because he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli infection. If you have a question about this multistate outbreak, ask us about it and leave a comment about this story. We will keep you informed as more information is released.

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