Two BC oyster farms closed due to norovirus outbreak

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Two oyster farms in BC have been closed after an outbreak of norovirus.

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) says about 40 cases of the illness have been reported since early March. In all of those cases, people reported eating raw BC oysters.

It has not named the farms, which have been closed by federal authorities.

The BCCDC says lab testing has confirmed the presence of the acute gastrointestinal illness in some cases, and it is suspected in others. It’s believed human sewage in the water is the most plausible cause of shellfish contamination.

The BCCDC recommends you cook oysters to an internal temperature of 90°C for 90 seconds and does not recommend anyone eat them raw.

If you become ill with diarrhea and vomiting after eating shellfish, you are asked to call BC HealthLink at 811. If your symptoms become severe or persist, you should see a doctor.

The BCCDC says for most people, norovirus is “self-limiting” and people will recover on their own with plenty of fluids and rest. However, on rare occasions, dehydration could become severe and require medical attention.

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