A norovirus outbreak might be linked to raw oysters from British Columbia in Canada, American health officials warn.
The California Department of Health announced that as of April 27, an estimated 100 people have reported falling sick after eating raw British Columbian oysters they bought from restaurants and food retailers across the state, CBS News reports.
In Canada, a reported 172 cases have been linked to oyster consumption, so far. No deaths have been reported.
The US Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that raw oysters that are possibly contaminated were harvested in the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia. These were then distributed to sellers in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington.
Noroviruses are group of viruses that cause sicknesses like gastroenteritis, among other intestine and stomach-related conditions. Symptoms of infection include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, nausea and stomach pain, beginning from 12 to 48 hours after contact with items containing the virus.
Young children and senior adults, along with people who have compromised immune systems, are likely to develop more severe symptoms. The FDA is advising retailers not to sell raw oysters that have been harvested from the following locations in Baynes Sound: #1402060, #1411206, #1400483, and #278757.
Consumers who have purchased raw oysters from these areas should not eat them, and should refrain from buying raw oysters from restaurants and sellers in those locations, officials recommend.
Food containing noroviruses often look, smell and taste normal, but are capable of making people very sick.
The FDA adds that anyone who might have consumed contaminated oysters, or who have fallen ill after eating any, should talk to their health care providers. Those who have had diarrhea lasting for more than three days, or have diarrhea accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, extreme vomiting, inability to keep liquids down, or passing very little urine, should consult a doctor immediately.