By Candess Zona-Mendola

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently announced that there is an outbreak of Vibrio and other pathogens and recommended that consumers avoid eating raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Public domain image/Daderot

The oysters have been linked to an outbreak of several gastrointestinal illnesses in California. According to the CDPH, “12 individuals have reported illness in February, March, and April after consuming raw oysters sold by restaurants and retailers located in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties. The raw oysters have been distributed throughout the state. Laboratory testing was performed for eight cases and multiple pathogens were identified: Vibrio parahaemolyticus (3), Vibrio albensis (1), Vibrio species unidentified (1), Shigella flexneri serotype 1 (2), and norovirus (1). One of the Vibrio parahaemolyticus cases was co-infected with non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.”

Both the California health officials and Mexican health agents are investigating this concerning outbreak. The traceback evidence collected by the CDPH confirms that the oysters were harvested from Estero El Cardon, in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

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As the investigation continues, the CDPH recommends that (1) retailers not sell any raw oysters sourced from Estero El Cardon, in Baja California Sur, Mexico, (2) consumers avoid eating raw seafood, and (3) if you believe you have become sick after eating raw oysters, seek urgent medical attention.