May 23, 2017

Oysters Recalled in Washington After Norovirus Outbreak

The Washington State Department of Health is recalling oysters and closing harvest areas after a norovirus outbreak. Over the past few weeks reports of illness in people who have eaten raw oysters from several areas in the state have been received. Small harvest closures and recalls have been ordered over the past few weeks. The largest closed area is in Hammersley Inlet in Mason County. In that area, a recall has been issued for any shellfish harvested there since March 15, 2017. The three-mile stretch of commercial shellfish growing beds is harvested by 31 shellfish companies and is shipped to many areas around the word. The Department of Health is working with shellfish growers, officials in other states, and local health department to trace all of the product and recall it to … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak in Washington Associated with Raw Oysters

Public health officials in Seattle and King County are investigating multiple reports of a norovirus-like illness in people who ate raw oysters. Since January, officials have received reports that as many as 39 people were sickened after eating that shellfish. Illnesses have been reported during the time period ranging from January 10 through March 20, 2017. Public health has reported the illnesses to the Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Program, which tracks the reports and harvest locations of the oysters implicated in this outbreak. The oysters were all harvested from different growing areas and bays in Washington state with the exception of four meals. Those four meals, which account for 22 of the illnesses, were made of oysters harvested from a small bay in the … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak in Canada Linked to Raw and Undercooked Oysters

The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses linked to raw and undercooked oysters. The illnesses have occurred in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Testing of several cases, but not all, has confirmed norovirus. Officials think that norovirus is the cause of illness in the untested cases. The outbreak notice states "the risk to Canadians is low." This type of illness can be avoided if oysters are cooked to an internal temperature of 90°C/194°F for a minimum of 90 seconds, and proper hand washing and food safety practices are followed. As of February 7, 2017, 202 clinical cases of illness linked to oysters have been reported in three provinces. The case count per province is: British Columbia (143), Alberta (35), and Ontario … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak in Washington Associated with Raw Oysters

King County Public Health is investigation a cluster of "norovirus-like" illnesses associated with eating raw oysters in their area. That virus is found in the stool and vomit of infected people. The virus is very contagious and is spread through contamianted food and person-to-person contact. Consuming raw and undercooked shellfish, especially oysters, increases your chances of getting sick. On January 19, 2017, Public Health was notified about 4 cases of norovirus-like illness from the same party who eat raw oysters at Taylor Shellfish, located at 124 Republican Street in Seattle on January 4, 2017. The patients got sick about 24 hours after eating the oysters, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, and muscle aches. Environmental Health … [Read more...]

Wellfleet Shellfish Beds Closed After Norovirus Outbreak

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries have announced that the shellfish beds in the town of Wellfleet on Cape Cod have been closed because of a large norovirus outbreak believed linked to the consumption of shellfish in that area. At least 75 suspect cases of norovirus were reported over a two day time period last week, mostly associated with eating raw shellfish at weddings and restaurants in the Outer Cape Cod area. The shellfish growing areas that are affected are Wellfleet Harbor, Herring River, Wellfleet Inner Harbor, and Loagy Bay. You can see maps of the closed regions at the Mass.gov web site. The symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, fever, chills, and muscle aches. This … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak Sickens Carleton College Students

A norovirus outbreak has sickened at least 22 Carleton students, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Public health officials think that the students were sickened after they ate at Hogan Brothers' Acoustic Cafe in Northfield, Minnesota. Hogan Brothers' is a popular restaurant in town that serves custom made sandwiches. The restaurant is temporarily closed to clean and investigate what happened. The college has set up a form to report any stomach illness among students and staff. The college itself is reporting that about 20 to 25 students are ill with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The news release on Carleton's website states that "it is very unlikely the illness is related to food served in any of the Carleton dining facilities." The form is to help … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at University of Rochester

The University of Rochester, New York, has released a statement stating that a norovirus-like outbreak at that campus has sickened at least 120 students. One student's test has returned positive for the virus. Most of those sickened live on River Campus, and others attend the Eastman School of Music. No students have been admitted to the hospital in this outbreak, although some have been treated in emergency departments. The Health Services director, Dr. Ralph Manchester, stated that the number of new cases per day is staring to decline. The outbreak was first recognized by the college on April 11, 2016. On April 15, 2016, there were 21 cases reported. Some students are still ill, while others have recovered. Symptoms include a sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This … [Read more...]

Oregon Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Yaquina Bay Oysters

An Oregon norovirus outbreak that has sickened 17 people has been linked to oysters from Yaquina Bay, according to the Oregon Health Authority. All of those sickened ate the oysters at Lincoln County restaurants between February 12 and February 14, 2016. One person was hospitalized because they were so seriously ill; all have since recovered.   Tests performed on an unopened jug of oysters collected from a restaurant tested positive for the same strain of norovirus found in stool samples from three of those sickened. A recall has been issued by Oregon Oyster Farms Inc. in  Newport for raw, ready-to-eat shucked oysters sold in half-gallons, one-pint plastic tubs and 10-ounce plastic jars, with sell-by dates of February 19 through March 8. And for oysters sold in mesh bags containing … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at University of Michigan

Almost 100 students are sick at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with what has been confirmed as a norovirus outbreak. The first illnesses were reported a week ago, with people suffering with vomiting and diarrhea.  At least 25 people have been to emergency rooms in the area. Those sickened all live in university housing. Dr. Robert Winfield, the University's chief health officer said, "we believe that this number does not reflect the actual extent of the illness, as students are generally following our advice to self-isolate in their rooms." The outbreak was first identified among students living at West Quad and South Quad. Students are asked to stay in their rooms if they are sick, and to practice good hygiene. Also avoid sharing food and drinks, and do not handle, prepare, … [Read more...]

Norovirus Sickens More than 200 Students at Ursinus College, PA

According to Montgomery County officials, an outbreak at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania was caused by norovirus. More than 200 students, faculty, and staff at the college were sickened in the past week. Phoenixville Hospital confirmed that tests on two students confirmed the presence of the pathogenic virus. Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, a physician and Interim Medical Director of the Health Department said in a statement, "This is the agent we have suspected since the outbreak began. While the illness has been truly unfortunate, this has been a model of cooperation between the various health agencies and Ursinus. We will continue to be vigilant and work closely with Ursinus to focus on hygiene measures to reduce transmission." Ursinus College medical … [Read more...]

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