February 27, 2024

Spot Prawns Norovirus Outbreak in Canada Sickens 60 in Four Provinces

A spot prawns norovirus outbreak in Canada has sickened at least 60 people in four provinces. Two recalls have been issued for these types of fish: one on May 31, 2022, and the second on June 2, 2022. Spot prawns are a very large type of shrimp found in the Pacific Ocean.


Spot Prawns Norovirus Outbreak in Canada Sickens 60 in Four Provinces

The case count by province is: British Columbia (18), Alberta (12), Manitoba (19), and Ontario (11). Illness onset dates range between mid-May and late May 2022. Although not all cases have been tested, lab testing has confirmed the presence of norovirus. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is continuing its food safety investigation into the spot prawns norovirus outbreak.

Investigations have identified spot prawns as the source of this outbreak. All of those sickened reported eating this type of fish before they got sick. The government does not know how the prawns were contaminated.

Spot prawns contaminated with norovirus will look, smell and taste normal. Do not eat, sell, use, or serve the recalled spot prawns. Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home. If you do, throw them away or take them back to the store where you bought them for a full refund.

Avoid eating raw or undercooked spot prawns. Cook them to at least 145┬░F and check that temperature with a food thermometer before eating. Eat them right away after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.

Remember that norovirus can be spread not only through contaminated food, but also through person to person contact and contact with contaminated surfaces. Thoroughly clean contaminated surfaces, specially after someone has been sick.

Symptoms of norovirus usually start within a day or two after infection. The illness often begins suddenly. Main symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps. Patients may also experience a headache, low grade fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle aches. Most people recover on their own without medical attention, but some people can become dehydrated and need to be hospitalized.

If you have eaten spot prawns in Canada and have been ill with these symptoms, consider seeing your doctor. You may be part of this spot prawn norovirus outbreak.

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