It is reported that MDMR has been advised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Tennessee Department of Health of an epidemiological association between oysters harvested from Conditionally Approved Area 2-C Shellfish Growing Waters in Mississippi on February 24, 2009, and incidences of Norovirus infection from patrons at one Tennessee restaurant.
It is informed that Conditionally Approved Area 2-C Shellfish Growing Waters were closed to the harvest of oysters in compliance with the shellfish growing waters management plan for those waters. The area will remain closed to the harvest of oysters until it is determined by the MDMR, that the oysters in those waters are safe for harvest.
Based on the guidelines of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program, the MDMR is advising shippers and processors that have handled oysters harvested from Growing Area 2-C on February 24, 2009, to initiate a voluntary recall of the suspected oysters. It is said that the recall is only a precaution. Symptoms of Norovirus infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. Affected individuals often experience low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness.
It is noticed that most people show symptoms within 48 hours of exposure to the virus, with the illness lasting one to two days. However, the illness can become serious for the very young, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Considering the shelf-life of the product, it is possible that suspect oysters from the designated area are still available in other retail and food service settings, including frozen products.