Public health warning issued over B.C. shellfish bacteria that sickened 67

VANCOUVER – The number of illnesses connected to eating raw shellfish from British Columbia has climbed to 67 cases in that province and in Alberta.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says 48 cases have been recorded in B.C., and 19 people have become ill in the neighbouring province since June 1.

The agency issued a public health notice Friday, saying it is collaborating with provincial and federal health officials, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to investigate the outbreak.

The naturally occurring bacteria linked to raw oysters from B.C. can be present during increased water temperatures.

The Vancouver Coastal Health authority issued an order earlier this week that restaurants must cook all oysters harvested in the province before serving them.

Elderly people, infants, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk for the illness with symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and headaches.