New Brunswick: Shellfish-linked Vibrio parahaemolyticus outbreak sickens nine


By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews

An outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, linked to shellfish, has been reported following nine confirmed cases in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

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“As Public Health continues to investigate the specific cause of the outbreak, I advise all New Brunswickers to ensure that they obtain shellfish and other seafood from a licensed establishment or that they harvest shellfish in fishing areas currently open by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, ”said Dr. Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Thoroughly cook all shellfish such as mussels, oysters and clams before eating them. “

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is commonly associated with the consumption and handling of raw shellfish such as oysters, clams, and mussels.

Confirmed cases have been reported in the north and east of the province. New Brunswick records an average of two to three cases of the parahaemolyticus vibrio per year.

“New Brunswickers are encouraged to enjoy healthy seafood like clams, mussels and oysters, but should be aware that warmer temperatures can increase the risk of bacteria in these foods,” said Russell. “The risk of food poisoning can be minimized by following a few simple food safety guidelines, such as washing your hands before and after handling these foods; store raw shellfish and seafood at 4 ° C in the refrigerator or on ice before cooking and refrigerate any leftovers quickly.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium naturally present in seawater. The bacterium can thrive in shellfish such as clams, oysters and mussels when seawater temperatures are warmer, such as during the summer months. ‘summer. Handling or eating raw or undercooked shellfish can lead to illness. Symptoms usually appear within 12 to 24 hours after a person becomes infected. Most people who get sick have diarrhea, but they can also have headaches, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Symptoms usually last less than a week. The disease is not spread from person to person.

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