(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Two B.C. oyster farms closed by norovirus

Officials report 40 cases of the illness in the past month after people had eaten raw oysters

Health officials in British Columbia have closed two oyster farms amid an investigation into another outbreak of norovirus linked to the consumption of raw oysters.

The BC Centre for Disease Control says there have been about 40 cases of the acute stomach upset since early March and all those who became ill reported eating raw oysters from B.C.

READ MORE: Tofino faces shellfish closures after norovirus outbreak hits 120

READ MORE: Ocean currents tied to B.C. norovirus outbreak: CDC

The centre says laboratory testing confirms the presence of norovirus in some of the cases and the illness is suspected in the rest of those who have become ill.

An exact source of the contamination has not been determined but the centre says human sewage in seawater is the most likely cause.

Nearly 350 cases of norovirus linked to raw or undercooked B.C. oysters were reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario starting in late 2016 and continuing through early 2017, forcing the closure of 13 oyster farms on the B.C. coast.

That outbreak was declared over in April 2017, and an article published the British Columbia Medical Journal last June determined sewage spread by ocean currents caused the widespread contamination.

Researchers concluded the outbreak disproved claims that shellfish is safe to eat between September and April, and noted that bacteria, viruses and biotoxins persist in cold sea water year-round.

The centre says it does not recommend eating raw oysters and advises the shellfish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 90 C for 90 seconds to kill pathogens.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

North Cowichan endorses revised Willow Street affordable housing plan

Better layout and more green space among the main amenities

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

Countdown is on to the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

Cowichan Valley hosts on July 19-22

Province steps up to help Catalyst Paper in war against U.S. duties

Paper company hit with more than 28 per cent in American tariffs

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read