September 9, 2013

Contamination closes more Massachusetts oyster beds

The Associated Press

BOSTON — Massachusetts health and fishery officials are shutting down more oyster beds, this time on Martha's Vineyard, due to bacterial contamination.

The state announced Monday that oyster beds in Katama Bay in Edgartown have been closed after two cases of gastrointestinal illness linked to Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

In both cases, the people who were sickened by consuming the raw oysters have recovered.

Late last month, the state shut down several South Shore oyster beds due to contamination by the same bacteria.

Since May, the Department of Health has received 50 reports of laboratory-confirmed Vibrio in Massachusetts residents. Some of the cases were traced to out-of-state oyster beds.

There were 27 cases reported during the same time period last year.

The naturally-occurring bacteria are often found in oysters harvested in warmer waters.
 

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