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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJuly 20, 2021
CONTACT:Kari Bray, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Hot temperatures and low tides are the perfect recipe for a spike in illnesses linked to shellfish.
The Snohomish Health District has received 10 reports of vibriosis since July 1. For the same period last year, only two such reports were received. Vibriosis is an intestinal disease caused by the Vibrio bacteria found in fish and shellfish. Vibrio bacteria multiply rapidly in warm conditions and shellfish concentrate them in their tissues, increasing the likelihood of illness from eating raw or undercooked shellfish.
Most cases reported to the Health District since July 1 involved consumption of raw oysters harvested in Washington. These may have been purchased from a restaurant, store or shellfish farm, or they may have been recreationally harvested.
Always check the Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map before harvesting shellfish recreationally at any Washington beach. If a beach is open and approved for harvesting, plan to harvest shellfish as the tide goes out. Keep in mind that most shellfish beds around the Puget Sound are closed or have restricted access, and there are no open shellfish beds in Snohomish County.
To avoid illness:
Symptoms of vibriosis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and chills, and may last two to three days. Symptoms usually start between four hours and four days after eating contaminated shellfish.
Seek medical attention if symptoms are severe or if they persist longer than a few days. Foodborne illnesses after eating at a restaurant in Snohomish County can be reported to the Health District by calling 425-339-3503.