Oysters were shipped throughout Canada and to California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.  To date, 279 norovirus illnesses reported in Canada, 26 in Washington, 34 in California, 29 in Minnesota and now 4 in Hawaii. Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas have yet to report.

According the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hawaiian Health officials are warning the public of a norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters from Canada that were distributed to restaurants and retailers in various U.S. states, including Hawaii, where several cases have been confirmed. The Hawaii Department of Health said as of late Tuesday, there have been four suspect cases of norovirus associated with raw oysters reported in the state. Three of the four suspect cases consumed raw oysters in Hawaii County, and one consumed raw oysters in Honolulu County, between March 8 and 22. All of the suspected cases in Hawaii have since recovered. Once case, however, required hospitalization.

Washington: (26) The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has updated its advisory to Washington residents to not serve or eat certain oysters harvested from the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada until further notice. The advisory is in alignment with the recent release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on a multi-state outbreak of norovirus illness linked to raw oysters. Twenty-six Washington residents have reported norovirus-like illness after eating oysters. Illnesses have been reported from residents of Clark, King, and Snohomish counties,

California:  (34) The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) warned consumers April 2, 2022, not to eat raw oysters from British Columbia, Canada because they may be linked to an outbreak of norovirus illnesses in California. In California, at least 34 persons have become ill following the consumption of oysters at nine restaurants located throughout the state. Illness has been reported from March 11 through 19, 2022.

Minnesota: (29) On April 1, 2022, the Minnesota Department of Health, Hennepin County Public Health, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are working with federal officials and public health agencies in other states and Canada to investigate norovirus illnesses associated with oysters. 29 Minnesotans have been sickened in this outbreak. They became ill with confirmed or suspected norovirus gastroenteritis after eating raw oysters at Travail Kitchen in Robbinsdale on March 20.

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.

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.

Recall Information: Some oyster harvest areas in B.C. that have been associated with illnesses in this outbreak have been closed as a part of the investigation. Food recalls were conducted on February 18, March 20, March 23, and March 27, 2022, for oysters from B.C.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with federal, state, and local officials, and with Canadian public health authorities regarding a norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters from British Columbia, Canada. The FDA has confirmed that potentially contaminated raw oysters harvested in the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada, were distributed to restaurants and retailers in California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington. It is possible that additional states received these oysters through further distribution within the U.S.

The FDA and the states conducted a trace forward investigation to determine where the raw oysters were distributed and to ensure they’re removed from the food supply. Retailers should not serve raw oysters harvested from the following harvest locations within Baynes Sound: #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.”

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.