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Outbreak of Norovirus Prompts Oyster Recall In Oregon


State public health officials are still looking into an outbreak of norovirus that was traced to raw oysters from Yaquina Bay. Oregon Oyster Farms of Newport has issued a recall of oysters with sell-by dates of February 19th through March 8th.

Norovirus, also called the winter vomiting sickness, causes nausea and diarrhea and usually lasts for 24 to 36 hours. People generally become ill within 48 hours of exposure to the virus. The outbreak traced to eating raw oysters sickened at least 17 people. One was hospitalized. State epidemiologist Emilio DeBess says the exact source of contamination is uncertain. The oyster beds may have been exposed to sewer water.
DeBess: “So by filtering the water, especially contaminated water, then it gets them infected and then they can actively pass on that infection when somebody eats them raw and not cooked and pass the infection to people.”
DeBess says the other source of infection could have been during handling after harvest. He says consuming raw oysters always involves risk. People with compromised immune systems, the young or elderly are advised to avoid eating raw oysters.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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