In a follow-up on the norovirus and gastrointestinal illness outbreak linked to raw oysters from British Columbia, Canadian health officials report 46 additional cases.
Currently, a total of 172 cases of gastrointestinal illness linked to oyster consumption have been reported in three provinces: British Columbia (132), Alberta (15), and Ontario (25). No deaths have been reported.
Based on work conducted by the British Columbia CDC, local and federal agencies and the shellfish industry, four shellfish farms linked to illnesses have been closed. The investigation has identified that most people were infected after consuming oysters harvested in south and central Baynes Sound, BC.
The investigation into sources of contamination impacting the shellfish farms in south and central Baynes Sound is ongoing.
Oysters are a known risk for causing food-related illness if consumed as a raw product. Norovirus illnesses can be avoided if raw oysters are cooked to an internal temperature of 90° Celsius/194° Fahrenheit for a minimum of 90 seconds, and proper hand washing and food safety practices are followed.