Four months later, over 300 illnesses reported,
the source is not clear - beyond raw oysters.
What's in your filter feeder?
(Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP/Getty Images)
Headline March 22: B.C. shellfish industry reels as norovirus sickens hundreds, forces closures
Headline January 13: BCCDC (British Columbia Center for Disease Control) advises consumers to properly cook oysters following outbreak (BCCDC)
Headline February 2: British Columbia oysters may be making Ontarians ill, health official warns (CTV News)
Headline November 25: Health officials investigate reports of illness after Tofino, B.C. food festival (CBC News)
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"Quickly" and "devastating" are apparently relative terms
Between November 25 and March 22, over 300 people having consumed raw oysters from British Columbia have become ill. Most are believed to be from reactions to Norovirus. While likely filtered from the coastal waters of the northwest, what its source is remains unknown.
Today, March 22, the shellfish industry has said it is "stunned" and they need to "find the cause quickly" as the alternative "could be devastating". It is unclear what "quickly" is defined as, given the outbreak has been ongoing over four months. It is also unclear what they define "devastating" as, given the number of people who have become ill and their inability to discover the source after four months.
As an article noted, the Executive Director of the shellfish growers association says, "...the far reach of the outbreak, which has been reported from oyster farms along much of the coast of Vancouver Island, is especially troubling."
In the mean time, the BCCDC recommends not consuming raw (uncooked) oysters harvested from British Columbia.