Canadian health officials reported this week that the norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters from British Columbia appears to be over.

Norovirus/CDC
Norovirus/CDC

A total of 176 cases of gastrointestinal illness linked to oyster consumption were reported in three provinces: British Columbia (137), Alberta (14), and Ontario (25). No deaths were reported. Individuals became sick between mid-March and mid-April 2018. Most individuals who became sick reported eating raw oysters from the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia before the onset of their illness.

Given that there have not been any illnesses reported since mid-April, the outbreak appears to be over. The outbreak investigation will remain active to allow partners to continue collaborating and exchanging information about the possible source of oyster contamination in the south and central Baynes Sound area.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause gastroenteritis in people, and usually include diarrhea and/or vomiting as main symptoms. Noroviruses are found in the stool or vomit of infected people. They are very contagious and can spread easily from person to person. Some foods can be contaminated at their source. For example, shellfish like oysters may be contaminated by sewage in water before they are harvested.

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