May 24, 2017
EDMONTON – On May 11, the Public Health Agency of Canada declared the outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses linked to consumption of raw oysters from B.C., over.
Though the outbreak – which sickened 42 Albertans – has concluded, Alberta Health Services (AHS) continues to remind Albertans of the health risks associated with consumption of raw oysters, and encourages all Albertans to take precautions.
Illnesses associated with raw and undercooked oysters or other 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 or undercooked 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 illness symptoms within 10 to 50 hours of eating oysters or other 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.
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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