Fine for Waterloo sandwich bar at centre of salmonella outbreak

Vibriosis prompts oyster harvest areas to be closed



Source of Article:

By Jeff Chew, Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND The state Department of Health has closed Quilcene Bay and Triton Cove State Park in Jefferson County to the recreational harvest of oysters after several vibriosis cases were reported.

The recreational oyster harvest closure also includes the shores of Triton Cove State Park at the Jefferson-Mason County line, the department said Friday.

Raw oysters
The vibrio closures were based on a number of human vibriosis cases associated with eating raw oysters from Quilcene Bay, said Andrew Shogren, Jefferson County environmental health director.

Quilcene Bay will remain closed to the recreational harvest of oysters at least through the month of September, he said.

Recreational beaches affected are the Quilcene Bay Tidelands, West Quilcene Bay Beach, and Point Whitney Tidelands.

Vibrio causes a variety of symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, and chills.

The symptoms usually appear about 12 hours after eating infected shellfish, but they can occur anywhere from two to 48 hours after consumption.

The illness is usually mild to moderate, and lasts for two to seven days.

Vibriosis is an intestinal illness caused by naturally occurring bacteria known as Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Unlike paralytic shellfish poisoning and domoic acid toxins, Vibrio is destroyed by thorough cooking.

Each summer the state Department of Health issues a vibrio advisory for all of Hood Canal to remind recreational shellfish harvesters that shellfish in Hood Canal should be thoroughly cooked between the months of May through October to avoid vibriosis.

The Department of Health offers the following tips to summer harvesters of shellfish in Washington State:

Always check the pollution and biotoxin status of the beach before you harvest.

Harvest as soon as possible after the tide goes out.

Do not harvest shellfish that have been exposed to direct sunlight for more than four hours.

Refrigerate or ice as soon as possible and within four hours of harvest.

Thoroughly cook shellfish.

The Department of Health additionally reminds consumers that store-bought shellfish must be refrigerated and handled properly to prevent illness.


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