CDC is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) state, and local officials, and with Canadian public health authorities to investigate a multistate norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters from British Columbia, Canada.
As of April 6, 2022, at least 103 norovirus illnesses have been reported from 13 states: CDC is working with state and local partners to determine a more accurate number of illnesses in this outbreak and will update this number as more information is gathered. FDA Advises Restaurants and Retailers Not to Serve or Sell Potentially Contaminated Raw Oysters from Canada.
Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States. However, state, local, and territorial health departments are not required to report individual cases of norovirus illness to a national surveillance system. That’s why we may not know about many cases, especially if people do not go to a doctor’s office or hospital. Each year, there are about 2,500 reported norovirus outbreaks in the United States. Norovirus outbreaks occur throughout the year but are most common from November to April.
State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate a day to four days before they got sick. In interviews, many of the sick people reported eating raw oysters.
State and local officials have collected information about the source of oysters from restaurants where sick people ate. FDA has confirmed that potentially contaminated raw oysters were harvested in the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada. The FDA and the states are conducting a trace forward investigation to determine where the raw oysters were distributed and to ensure they’re removed from the food supply.
States affected: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington. Thus far California reports (34), Hawaii reports (4), Minnesota reports (29) and Washington reports (26).
Canada: (279) As of March 31, 2022, there have been 279 cases of norovirus and gastrointestinal illness linked to consumption of B.C. oysters reported in the following provinces: B.C. (262), Alberta (1), Saskatchewan (1), and Ontario (15). Individuals became sick between mid-January and late March 2022, and no deaths have been reported. Although not all cases of illness have been tested, testing of several cases has confirmed the presence of a norovirus infection.
Warning: Do not serve or sell raw oysters harvested from the following harvest locations (or landfiles) within the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada:
- Landfiles #1407063, #1411206, #278737 in BC 14-8 and #1400036, in BC 14-15.
- “Baynes Sound” will show on product tags as “14-8”and/or “DEEP BAY”, or “14-15.”.
- Distributed to restaurants and retailers in CA, CO, FL, HI, IL, MA, MN, NJ, NV, NY, OR, and WA. It is possible that additional states received these oysters through further distribution within the United States.
About Norovirus: Norovirus is a highly contagious virus and can be spread easily from person-to-person, through contaminated surfaces, and by eating contaminated food, including raw or undercooked oysters. Symptoms of norovirus usually begin 12 to 48 hours after a person has encounter the virus and can last for 1 to 3 days. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. People who develop symptoms of norovirus infection should consult their health care providers. Also, see: What do you need to know about Norovirus and Raw Oysters.
Norovirus makes its way into the marine environment through untreated human sewage (poop) and vomit. This may come from leaky septic systems, faulty wastewater treatment plants, boaters, or beachgoers. Shellfish are filter feeders, which means they filter seawater through their bodies to get food floating in the water. When norovirus particles are in the water, shellfish can accumulate the virus in their bodies. For a bit of history: A Baker’s Dozen of years of Oyster Norovirus Outbreaks.
Norovirus Lawyers and Attorneys: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirus outbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a number of food products and restaurants.
If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.