January 20, 2017
EDMONTON – Ten cases of gastrointestinal illness potentially linked to consumption of raw oysters are under investigation in the Edmonton Zone, prompting Alberta Health Services (AHS) to remind all Albertans of the risk of illness associated with consumption of raw shellfish.
To reduce risk of illness, AHS advises Albertans to:
Illnesses associated with raw oysters or shellfish contaminated with viruses or bacteria commonly cause watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, fever, headache and bloody stools. Although anyone who consumes raw shellfish is at risk of illness, people with weakened immune systems, young children, pregnant women and older adults are at increased risk for developing complications if they get sick.
Individuals who develop these symptoms within 10 to 50 hours of eating raw shellfish are advised to contact Health Link at 811 to report the illness. As with most gastrointestinal illnesses, symptoms typically last for one day to a week and usually do not require any treatment; however, any Albertan whose symptoms persist or become more severe should visit a doctor.
The cluster of gastrointestinal illnesses currently under investigation in the Edmonton Zone experienced onset of symptoms between Jan. 10 and 12, 2017. The type of illness has not been lab-confirmed. This is the first outbreak investigation into illness potentially linked to consumption of raw oysters in Alberta since 2015, when 19 cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection were linked to consumption of raw oysters.
For more information, visit: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/safety-salubrite/meat-viandes/shellfish-mollusques-eng.php.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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For media inquiries, contact:
Alberta Health Services