Vibrio Risk Prompts Oyster Recalls, Bed Closures Far North Of Gulf

"Eating raw oysters in the summertime is always risky; aqueous pathogens peak when the ocean is warm, which is part of why folk wisdom suggests one should only eat raw shellfish in months with an 'R' in the name. But this summer's been riskier than ever."

"Over the past few weeks, public health officials in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Washington state have reported that about twice as many people this year have contracted the food-borne illness vibriosis after eating raw oysters and clams as do in a typical summer. Lab tests have confirmed 113 illnesses across those three states (as of the middle of August), or about double the 55 cases of previous years, according to public health reports.

Vibriosis refers to two different food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria in the vibrio family, Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which can lead to septicemia and severe gastrointestinal distress, respectively. Parahaemolyticus is more common but less severe of the two, according to a government food safety website."

Joe Satran reports for the Huffington Post September 3, 2013.

Source: Huffington Post, 09/04/2013