January 27, 2023

Galveston Bay Oyster Outbreak in Texas, Florida Sickens Dozens

A Galveston Bay oyster outbreak in Texas has sickened dozens of people in that state and also in Florida, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). A recall of all oysters that were harvested in the TX 1 area of southeastern Galveston Bay has been ordered. No other species of seafood are affected by this recall.

Galveston Bay Oyster Outbreak in Texas, Florida Sickens Dozens

The recall includes oysters on the half shell and shucked oysters that were harvested there from November 17, 2022 through December 7, 2022. You can see a map of the oyster areas in those waters at DSHS web site.

The area was closed on December 8, 2022 after receiving reports from health departments in both Texas and Florida that people who ate oysters harvested from TX 1 were getting sick. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. No illness onset dates have been reported, and no hospitalizations have been reported at this time. And there is no information yet on what pathogen has caused this outbreak.

In the past, raw oyster outbreaks have been linked to several different types of pathogens, including Vibrio, Sapovirusnorovirus. and even Shigella and E. coli.

Public health officials are collecting water samples from that area for testing. They are also trying to determine when the area may safely reopen for harvesting.

Consumers who purchased Texas oysters since November 17, 2022 should check the packaging to see if the shellfish were harvested in that area. If the oysters are unpackaged, contact the seller to find the source. Restaurants should contact their distributors for information, and any oysters from TX 1 should be discarded.

If you have eaten Galveston Bay oysters harvested from the TX 1 area and have been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Galveston Bay oyster outbreak.

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