(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

Police seek potential victims of bad ‘nanny’

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Oak Bay firefighters help fund new Monterey playground

Sausage Fest cash handed over to Monterey PAC

Alcohol and drugs ruled out in serious crash that closed Sooke Rd last week

All three drivers taken to hospital have since been released

Only tent city residents allowed access at Goldstream Park campsites

Local RCMP point to reports of criminal activity and drug use in the area as cause for safety concerns

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read