Washington state health officials are urging consumers not to eat locally harvested raw oysters and other shellfish following an outbreak of intestinal disease caused by the bacteria, which recently accelerated following “heat domes” in the Pacific Northwest. multiplied by.
State health officials said recent high temperatures and low tide were most likely blame for the outbreak of disease, vibration, which has sickened at least 52 people this month, the highest recorded in July.
The disease—which usually lasts between four hours and four days and causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and chills—is associated with eating raw or undercooked shellfish, especially oysters. Those contaminated with Vibrio, a bacteria found naturally in coastal waters.
In small numbers, the bacteria do not pose any danger to people who eat shellfish. But bacteria multiply rapidly in warm conditions, so oysters are more likely to be contaminated during the hot summer months, when many people prefer to savor the dazzling delicacy with a cold glass of wine.
Late last month, a “heat dome” covered the Pacific Northwest, breaking records across the region. Seattle broke a record For the highest temperature ever recorded by the National Weather Service there on June 28: 108 degrees. The previous high of 105 degrees was set in July 2009.
“It was a perfect storm of these super low tides that we’re having this month and into high heat,” Washington State Department of Health spokeswoman Teresa McCallion said in an interview Thursday.
“It’s most likely not just a one-time thing, an anomaly,” she said. “Since climate change has an impact on so many things, this is just one example.”
While linking a single heat wave to climate change requires extensive attribution analysis, heat waves around the world are increasing steadily, lasting longer and becoming more dangerous.
The 2018 National Climate Assessment, a major scientific report released by 13 federal agencies, says the number of hot days is on the rise. And this frequency of heat waves In the United States, the average rate increased from two per year in the 1960s to six per year by 2010. According to the report, the season of heat waves has been longer by 45 days compared to the 1960s.
Washington state health officials recommend that people cook shellfish at 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds to destroy the Vibrio bacteria before they test it. Department’s Conch Safety Map Before going to the beach to harvest shellfish recreationally, and that they always keep oysters cold or refrigerated on ice.
“We’re recommending, if you don’t want to get sick, don’t eat raw oysters,” Ms McCallion said. “Cook them. Make sure they are fully cooked.”
It’s important to remember that Vibrio is found naturally in coastal waters, said Margaret Pilarro, executive director of the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association. It’s also important to buy shellfish from a “reputable source” and take care of the oysters by keeping them cool, she said.
“It’s something that happens every year, and there are so many delicious ways to eat cooked shellfish,” said Ms. Pilarro. “And when the temperature goes back down, vibration isn’t a problem. Consumers can actually feel good about the quality of the product they’re getting.”