Stomach virus cases causes closure of Terrebonne Parish oyster harvesting area

Source of illnesses found at New Orleans area restaurant

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 5:54pm

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) closed a molluscan shellfish harvesting area in southwestern Terrebonne Parish Tuesday located in Basin 12, Area 23.

The closure order was signed Tuesday by Louisiana State Health Officer, Dr. Jimmy Guidry and DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. The closure takes effect at sundown Tuesday. Area 23 harvesting area is expected to be closed for at least 21 days.

DHH also ordered a recall of all oysters harvested from that area since April 26, including shucked, frozen, breaded, post-harvest processed and oysters for the half shell market.

Fourteen people became ill with stomach viruses, or the stomach flu, after eating the Louisiana oysters at a New Orleans area restaurant on April 28 or 29. The illnesses were not life-threatening, and no one was hospitalized.

DHH epidemiologists and sanitarians traced the stomach flu outbreak to Louisiana oysters consumed at the same restaurant. The oysters were harvested from Area 23.

Norovirus is a virus that causes the "stomach flu," or vomiting and diarrhea, in people.

DHH has notified local oyster harvesters that work the affected area and the Louisiana Oyster Task Force about the outbreak.

For more information about the oyster area closure, visit

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