Update: Widespread Norovirus contamination of oysters
harvested throughout British Columbia and Washington.
Outbreak News reports today that the Public Health Agency in Canada has reported over 321 illnesses traced to eating raw oysters contaminated with Norovirus which were harvested in waters of British Columbia. This total does not appear to include those who became ill in November who attended a festival on Vancouver Island. The 321 reported illnesses are all in Canada.
In addition, KING5 News reports that the Seattle King County Public Health Department has also reported an outbreak of illnesses traced to oysters harvested from Washington's Puget Sound, a body of water to the south of British Columbia, and consumed primarily in restaurants in Seattle. The Health Department noted the oysters were harvested from "different bays and beds across the state." KING5 noted a specific portion of Samish Bay was implicated in a large number of the illnesses, which Washington's Department of Health has now closed.
Speculation that the outbreak is related to the West Seattle sewage treatment plant problems is logical, but the outbreaks began before the failure so it is unlikely there is a relationship. Why the outbreak is so widespread is unknown. How the Department of Health will address the apparently growing problem is unknown.