The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) announced late last week that it was investigating a cluster of cases of Vibriosis in eastern Missouri. According to DHSS, 3 cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus–an infection that is commonly associated with eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly raw oysters–were reported June 27 and 28, 2012. Vibriosis is caused by Vibrio bacteria, such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus, that grow in coastal waters. Risk factors for acquiring gastrointestinal Vibrio infections include: eating raw or undercooked shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) or crabs; or cross-contamination of other foods and surfaces with raw shellfish or crabs during preparation. Symptoms of vibriosis may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and in some cases, signs of severe infection (septicemia), including fever and low blood pressure.  Those most at risk are people with weakened immune systems, especially anyone with liver disease or peptic ulcers. Symptoms can start from 4 to 96 hours after eating contaminated food. According to DHSS, vibrio infections can be treated with antibiotics, but most do not require treatment other than oral rehydration.  For more information, view the DHSS press release (pdf).

  • Janet

    Growing-up near the fishing docks in Brooklyn, NY, we learned to “never eat raw shellfish in a month that didn’t have an ‘R’ in it”: May, June, July or August.
    My parents and grandparents heeded this advice, as did my neighbors and anyone making a living in the industry. I continue to wonder why more people aren’t advised to do the same.
    Better safe than sorry…

  • Minkpuppy

    Gulf Coasters have the same rule and some seafood restaraunts put warnings on the menu around here. Sadly, there’s still knuckleheads out there that think they can get away with it because “they’ve never gotten sick before”. I only do smoked,steamed, fried or grilled seafish.