25 Sitka illnesses are linked to oysters

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009

SITKA - Alaska health officials said four people in Sitka have tested positive for norovirus infections, and at least 21 more are ill with gastrointestinal illnesses.

The health department said the illnesses were likely linked to locally grown oysters.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said Whiting Harbor Aquafarms, LLC, of Sitka has voluntarily stopped selling oysters until the state again approves sales.

The two states departments began a joint investigation early this month after the first foodborne illness outbreak was reported.

The health departments said if anyone has any of these oysters purchased between Jan. 26-Feb. 1 to discard them.

Health officials say norovirus infection causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Most recover in two to three days without medical treatment.

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