September 27, 2023

CDC Weighs In On Texas Oysters Norovirus Outbreak

The CDC has weighed in on the Texas oysters norovirus outbreak that has sickened more than 200 people. The oysters were harvested between 11/17/2022 and 12/7/2022 from harvest area TX 1 in Galveston Bay. Patients in this outbreak, 211 of them, live in Florida and Texas and six other states.

CDC Weighs In On Texas Oysters Norovirus Outbreak

The oysters were shipped to these states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The oysters may have been distributed in other states. There have been 211 illnesses reported as of December 15, 2022. The case count by state has not been released, nor has the illness onset date range or the patient age range.

Restaurants and food retailers should not serve raw oysters from that area. The raw oysters were potentially contaminated with norovirus. The harvest area would be marked on the package or product container.

If you  have oysters from that area, whether you are a consumer or own a restaurant, discard them or return them for destruction. Wash and sanitize containers and surfaces that may have come into contact with these oysters. Then wash your hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.

The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a recall on all oysters harvested during that time frame from that area on December 8, 2022. State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate a day to four days before they got sick. Many of the patients said they ate oyster.

This outbreak may be larger than these numbers, because state, local, and territorial health departments are not required to report individual cases of norovirus illness to a national surveillance system. And many people do not see a doctor when they contract this infection, so would never been in the system.

The investigation into this Texas oysters norovirus outbreak is ongoing.

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