Number ill from Puget Sound oysters swells to over 100.
Anthony's Homeport in Olympia stops selling oysters.
Just a little has a big impact.
Illnesses from Puget Sound oysters grows
The April 20th edition of the Shelton-Mason Journal reports that registered cases of illnesses in King County caused by consumption of raw oysters contaminated by Norovirus have grown to over 100.* It notes DOH saying the majority were harvested from tidelands in south Puget Sound. It has resulted in the recall of oysters from over a dozen companies having operations in Hammersley Inlet. The Journal also reported Anthony's Homeport Restaurant in Olympia saying they will "indefinitely" stop selling oysters due to health concerns.
* In the article it notes: "Health care providers are not required to report norovirus to the Department of Health ... there could be more than the originally reported 100 cases."
Closure map courtesy of iFIBER One News.
(See DOH interactive map for more)
Hammersley Inlet shellfish companies recalling oysters
Companies involved in the recall include: Arcadia Sellfish, Squaxin Island Tribe, Clearwater Shellfish, Russ Shellfish, Schreiber Shellfish, Sea Fresh Farms, Hernandez Shellfish, Taylor Shellfish, Montanos Shellfish Company, National Fish and Oyster Company, Navy Yard Oyster Company, Padden Seafood and Rivera's Shellfish.
Willapa Bay Shigoku oysters also recalled
Willapa Bay's Shigoku oysters also recalledIn addition to Hammersley Inlet, King County's April 14 update also noted Shigoku oysters harvested from Willapa Bay were contaminated with Norovirus and linked to reported illnesses from consumption of those oysters. Testing by the FDA's Pacific Region Laboratory NW confirmed the presence of Norovirus in Shikogu oysters from the Willapa Bay area. As a result of those illnesses and testing, DOH initiated a recall of oysters harvested from that area in Willapa Bay on April 13 and closed the area to commercial harvest.*
*Unlike Hammersley Inlet, the Willapa Bay area closed was recently declared safe by DOH and re-opened.
City of Shelton's wastewater treatment facility
Ultraviolet treatment a good idea?
To date there has been no report of finding the source of Norovirus in Hammersley Inlet. It had been hoped that norovirus from Hammersley Inlet's shellfish in 2015 had resulted in the source being found. Given the size of the current area closed, it would seem logical to assume the City of Shelton's Sewage Treatment facility at the end of Hammersley Inlet would be where to look. Especially given the recent upgrade which eliminated chlorine treatment, replacing it with ultraviolet disinfection. DOH notes Norovirus "...is not particularly susceptible to either cold temperatures or ultraviolet radiation." (DOH in 2013) Until the source is discovered, DOH does not recommend consuming raw oysters.