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Norovirus Outbreak from BC Oysters is Over

An outbreak of norovirus linked to raw oysters from BC has been declared over.

It affected those in five provinces and 13 states, and the investigation by health authorities closed some of the related oyster harvesting areas.

In Canada, 339 confirmed cases of norovirus and other gastrointestinal issues were reported, mostly in BC (301 cases), with some other cases in Ontario (19), Manitoba (15), Alberta (3), and Saskatchewan (1).

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No deaths reported in the outbreak that started in mid-January and wrapped up early this month with a majority of cases in the week of March 13. That week saw over 230 cases alone.

Health Canada says that norovirus and related illnesses are common and very contagious. They say all age groups are at risk of contracting them, but those in at-risk situations — like those pregnant, young kids, or elders — are prone to serious complications like dehydration.

The health authority says, “The outbreak investigation is an important reminder to Canadians and businesses that raw oysters can carry harmful germs that can lead to foodborne illness if not properly handled and cooked prior to consuming.”

Story by Nicholas Arnold – [email protected]

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