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A norovirus outbreak is linked to raw oysters distributed in 13 states, the FDA says

The FDA is working with federal, state, and local officials to investigate a multi-state outbreak of norovirus illnesses linked to raw oysters, the agency said Wednesday.

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesdaythat it is working with federal and local authorities on a multistate outbreak of norovirus illnesses linked to raw oysters.

The oysters were harvested in the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada, and have been distributed to restaurants and businesses in the following states, the FDA said: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington state.

"The FDA and the states conducted a trace forward investigation to determine where the raw oysters were distributed and to ensure they're removed from the food supply. Retailers should not serve raw oysters harvested from the following harvest locations within British Columbia, BC 14-8 and BC 14-15, with harvest starting as early as January 31, 2022, which will be printed on product tags," the agency said. "Oysters can cause illness if eaten raw, particularly in people with compromised immune systems. Food contaminated with norovirus may look, smell, and taste normal."

The FDA provided the following information about the norovirus:

  • People of all ages can get infected and sick with norovirus; the most common symptoms of norovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and body ache.
  • A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within one to three days.
  • If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill, and vomit or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.
  • Symptoms of dehydration include a decrease in urination, dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up.
  • Children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy. 
  • If you think you or someone you are caring for is severely dehydrated, call your health care provider.
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