Shell shock: FDA urges Americans in 13 states not to eat certain oysters for fear of food poisoning outbreak
- A person in Las Vegas has been sickened by an insect related to the shellfish
- Another nine people would also suffer from the raw oysters
- The Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency call due to an outbreak
Americans in 13 states are being told to avoid certain raw oysters after 10 people fell ill from a food poisoning outbreak.
A person in Las Vegas who developed vomiting and diarrhea has tested positive for the stomach virus sapovirus. Nine others are suspected to be infected.
They had all visited the same restaurant in Las Vegas – which has not been named – and eaten oysters imported from South Korea.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled frozen oysters over fears that more batches are contaminated.
The affected states are in the south and east of the country. These are: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Symptoms usually appear within 48 hours of eating oysters and can also include stomach pain and nausea.
The infection is rarely fatal and symptoms resolve within one to four days, medics say.
It comes after a multi-state food poisoning outbreak linked to processed meats and cheeses killed an American and caused a pregnant woman to miscarry.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall of frozen half-shell oysters from South Korean company Dai One Food Company due to concerns about contamination (stock)
The FDA issued the alert this week after being contacted by the Southern Nevada Health District.
So far, two disease clusters have been identified, although more are feared to emerge.
The oysters were served from October 28 to November 5.
They were harvested on February 6 and shipped to the US by the Dai One Food Company.
Officials said in a press release: “Consumers, especially those who are or may become pregnant, the elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems, who have recently eaten raw oysters in 13 states and suspect they have food poisoning, should seek immediate medical attention.
“The Korean firm has recalled frozen half-shell oysters, frozen oysters [individually quick freezed]and frozen oyster blocks harvested from the same harvest area.’
Sapovirus is common in nurseries and nurseries, where it is spread via the fecal-oral route.
But it can also end up in oysters when sewage-contaminated water mixes with the shellfish.
Infected people take one to four days to show symptoms, with patients experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain.
Treatment focuses on controlling these symptoms, which generally resolve within one to four days.
Medics recommend taking hand and food hygiene measures to avoid contracting the disease.
This includes regular hand washing and making sure you know the source of food.
What is sapovirus?
Sapovirus is a disease that can cause intestinal problems that last from one to four days.
The disease is spread through water contaminated with feces or vomit from an infected patient.
For example, it can end up in oysters and other shellfish.
When consumed, symptoms appear one to four days later.
These can include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, chills, and headache.
The disease is rarely fatal and most symptoms resolve within one to four days.
However, people can still drop the virus weeks after symptoms have subsided.
There is no vaccine against the sapovirus, treatment instead focuses on controlling the symptoms.
To avoid contracting the virus, experts suggest maintaining good hand and food hygiene — steps such as always washing hands before a meal and avoiding foods of unknown origin.
Source: Center for Health Protection, Hong Kong.