Shellfish harvesting in areas in Oyster Bay, New York has been suspended after 8 people who ate shellfish from that area were sickened with Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections. Approximately 1,980 acres on the north shore of Oyster Bay have been closed until environmental samples reveal that the danger of Vibrio contamination has passed, announced the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Friday. The New York State Department of Health reported that 3 residents of Nassau County – where Oyster Bay is located – and 5 people from 3 other states became ill after eating raw or partially cooked shellfish from Oyster Bay Harbor. Laboratory analysis has confirmed that the infections were caused by the Vibrio bacteria, a naturally-occuring organism that thrives in warm marine water environments. Symptoms of Vibrio infection usually occur around 24 hours after ingesting the bacteria, and include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Symptoms usually resolve within a week. Illness may be more severe in those with compromised immune symptoms or preexisting chronic diseases. Health officials advise that consumers who purchased shellfish with tags indicating Oyster Bay Harbor as the harvest area should not eat the shellfish. Shellfish harvesters, shippers, distributors, processors, restaurants and retailers are advised to check tags on all shellfish containers and to discard shellfish harvested from Oyster Bay Harbor with a harvest date before July 13, 2012. Wholesale shellfish dealers should check sales records to see whether they have sold any shellfish from Oyster Bay Harbor harvested between June 1 and July 12, 2012, and contact any consumers who may have purchased these shellfish immediately to advise them not to sell or serve them. Any business possessing shellfish harvested from Oyster Bay Harbor are urged to call New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s shellfisheries inspection program at 631-444-0494. Updated information about shellfish closures is available on a recorded message from DEC at 631-444-0480.