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B.C.’s heat wave may be to blame for several cases of shellfish poisoning


Several individuals have fallen in poor health with meals poisoning after consuming shellfish in B.C. within the final 10 days, and well being officers are warning that heat ocean waters would possibly be to blame.

Lorraine McIntyre, a meals security specialist on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), mentioned there have been 10 confirmed outbreaks of Vibrio sickness ensuing from a naturally occurring bacterium that’s identified to proliferate when water temperatures rise in the summertime.

Most individuals who’ve gotten sick had eaten shellfish they’d harvested themselves, whereas some fell in poor health after swimming or different leisure actions, McIntyre mentioned.

“It’s nasty,” she mentioned of Vibrio sickness. “You’ll get diarrhea, abdominal cramps, you may have some vomiting. You’re just not going to feel well for one to three days.”

Fortunately, the Vibrio micro organism is not a priority for industrial harvesters. McIntyre says industrial operations have to comply with strict well being and temperature tips. As nicely, industrial oyster harvesters check their shellfish for Vibrio.

McIntyre mentioned the acute heat wave in June allowed microorganisms to “multiply like crazy” in B.C. waters, which may clarify why there have been extra Vibrio cases than in earlier years presently.

Satellite temperatures taken at 10 metres under the floor of the ocean throughout the scorching heat final month measured at 20 C or increased, she added.

“That’s deep, so it’s warm down there,” McIntyre mentioned.

Researchers have beforehand reported that greater than a billion seashore animals like clams and mussels may have died throughout the heat wave.

The BCCDC says anybody who harvests their very own shellfish ought to test first to see if there are closures within the space as a result of of toxins or micro organism. Clam digging and different comparable actions ought to solely occur when the tide goes out.

Seafood also needs to be cooked earlier than it’s eaten to destroy viruses and micro organism, and guts ought to be faraway from crabs earlier than they’re cooked.

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