About 100 people in California have reported becoming sick with symptoms of norovirus after eating raw oysters from British Columbia, according to the California Department of Public Health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning Wednesday urging people not to consume raw oysters.
The FDA has advised retailers not to serve raw oysters harvested from locations (or landfiles) within Baynes Sound: #1402060, #1411206, #1400483, and #278757. The farms were closed between March 23 and April 13.
Public Health Agency of Canada links 172 cases of gastrointestinal problems to oyster consumption in British Columbia (132), Alberta (15) and Ontario (25). If you do eat shellfish, cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145°F. "The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed".
While the FDA recommends all raw oysters from certain B.C. farms be thrown out, it also warns that consumers should follow food safety precautions all the time while handling the seafood products. Foods contaminated with noroviruses may still look, smell, and taste normal.
The most common symptoms of the illness are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps, but others can include a fever, chills and aches. Diarrhea tends to be watery and non-bloody. Norovirus, however, usually causes symptoms within 12 to 48 hours after consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Diarrhea is more common in adults and vomiting is more common in children.
Consumers should certainly avoid eating raw oysters from these four locations and if they already have bought any of such potentially contaminated norovirus products then they should immediately get rid of them, the officials said.
The virus is more likely to show severe symptoms in children who are younger than five years, in older adults and in individuals who have weak immune systems. Raw British Columbia oysters have been linked to a norovirus outbreak in California. Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you can not keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.
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