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FDA warns about potentially contaminated oysters from Canada

Health officials are warning consumers about a norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters from British Columbia, Canada. 

According to the California Department of Health, as of April 27, approximately 100 people have reported illnesses after they consumed raw British Columbian oysters sold by restaurants and retailers throughout the state.

In Canada, there have been a total of 172 illnesses linked to oyster consumption. No deaths have been reported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed potentially contaminated raw oysters harvested in the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia have also been distributed to Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, or stomach and intestinal illness, in people. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, and stomach pain, which begin to show 12 to 48 hours after infection.

Children younger than 5, older adults, and those people with compromised immune systems are more likely to have severe symptoms.

The FDA is advising retailers not to serve raw oysters harvested from the following harvest locations (or landfiles) within Baynes Sound: #1402060, #1411206, #1400483, and #278757.

Consumers should not eat any raw oysters from these locations and if they have any of the listed products, they should throw them away, officials say.

Food contaminated with noroviruses may look, smell, and taste normal but can make people very sick.

Anyone who thinks they might have gotten sick from eating contaminated oysters should talk to their health care provider. Contact your doctor immediately if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.

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