Long Beach investigating illness outbreaks potentially linked to raw oyster consumption

The city of Long Beach’s Health Department is investigating cases of gastrointestinal illnesses potentially linked to the consumption of raw oysters that originated in parts of Mexico.

Eight of Southern California’s 150 cases linked to gastrointestinal illnesses, likely caused by norovirus, have been reported in Long Beach. While health officials suspect that the illness is linked to the consumption of raw oysters, an investigation is still ongoing, a news release said.

Norovirus, commonly known as the “stomach flu” or food poisoning, is a highly contagious virus that can quickly spread from person to person by touching contaminated surfaces or by eating contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Health officers urge the public to be extra cautious when eating raw oysters. Officials also noted that young children, older people and those who are immunocompromised are at higher risk for severe health outcomes.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health advised the public to avoid eating raw oysters after more than 40 people were believed to have been infected with noroviruses as of Tuesday.

Long Beach residents who became sick after eating raw oysters are encouraged to complete this form. They can also call 5620570-7907 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays to report illness or to get more information.

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