December 4, 2009
The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered a recall today of all oysters harvested from San Antonio Bay after reports that people in two states outside Texas have been sickened by norovirus after consuming the oysters. DSHS has received no reports of the illness in Texas related to these oysters.
Oysters harvested in San Antonio Bay between Nov. 16 and Nov. 25 are included in the recall. Consumers who purchased oysters Nov. 16 or later that have a label showing they came from San Antonio Bay are advised to dispose of the oysters and not eat them. The virus has not affected other seafood.
Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis. Symptoms usually include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramping. Symptoms usually begin 24 to 48 hours after consuming the oysters and last one to two days. Norovirus typically is not life threatening and does not generally cause long-term effects.
DSHS has received reports that about a dozen people in North Carolina and South Carolina have gotten sick with norovirus after consuming oysters from San Antonio Bay. State health officials in those states, with assistance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are investigating those cases.
San Antonio Bay is currently closed to the commercial harvesting of oysters.
(News Media Contact: Allison Lowery, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7111, ext. 2213.)
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