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FDA NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
P06-196
December 12, 2006

Media Inquiries:
Michael Herndon, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA


 

FDA Investigating Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Oysters

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently working with five states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate an outbreak of norovirus which has been associated with raw, frozen oysters on the half shell from South Korea. Eight individuals have been confirmed as becoming ill as a result of consuming the raw oysters at a private event in Woodburn, Oregon. On December 8, FDA testing of oysters from the same production lot showed positive results for norovirus.

Symptoms of illness associated with norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. Individuals often experience low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. Most people show symptoms within 48 hours of exposure to the virus. The illness typically lasts one to two days.

The implicated oysters have been identified as part of lot No. 6098 from the Central Fisheries Company in South Korea and imported by Fortuna Sea Products, Inc. of California. From Fortuna Sea Products, Inc., the frozen oysters were distributed to proprietors in Texas, Colorado, Nevada, California, and Oregon.

On November 27, 2006, Fortuna Sea Products, Inc. initiated a recall of the 1,100 cases that comprised the affected lot. Consumers in Texas, Colorado, Nevada, California, and Oregon who ate oyster products between mid-October and early December and who experienced symptoms of norovirus are encouraged to contact their local health department. Consumers in possession of frozen oysters on the half shell purchased during this period should contact their retailer to determine if the oysters are from the affected lot of South Korean oysters and need to be returned.

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