One bad oyster is all it takes

by Mary Tutwiler

If you ate oysters recently and you're feeling a bit queasy, you aren't alone. Nearly 40 people were sickened after eating oysters last month, which has caused the largest closure of the state's oyster beds in a decade. The Times-Picayune reports that oyster harvesting grounds in St. Bernard, Plaquemines and parts of Lafourche and Jefferson parishes have been closed for the past two weeks.

Meanwhile state health officials have been searching for the source of the disease, Norovirus, which causes fever, chills, aches, nausea, and diarrhea that can last up to two days. The good news is Norovirus is non-life threatening, unlike bacterial vibrio vulnificus disease, which can cause liver damage and possibly death.

While some of the oyster beds near Grand Isle are scheduled to remain closed until further investigation, other beds in Plaquemines and St. Bernard will open next week.