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Alabama oyster concerns part of a federal alert

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The Food and Drug Administration is issuing a warning about frozen half shell oysters in Alabama and a dozen other states over the threat of food poisoning. The shellfish were harvested back in February and exported by the Dai One Food company in South Korean, which issued a recall for the suspect oysters.

Consumers in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee among others are being warned not to eat raw oysters, especially those who are or could become pregnant, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems. Those who think they have food poisoning should seek medical help immediately.

The warning was prompted by the Southern Nevada Health District, when the agency notified the FDA of two clusters of illnesses from individuals that consumed raw oysters at a restaurant in Las Vegas in October and last month. The Southern Nevada Health District current reports one confirmed and nine potential illnesses called sapovirus.

Sapoviruses cause a sporadic gastroenteritis, similar to norovirus, in populations ranging from children to the elderly. The infections are more frequent in children under age 5 than in adults. The most common symptoms of sapovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and body ache.

Most people infected with sapovirus begin to develop symptoms 12 to 48 hours after infection. Symptoms usually last one to four days

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Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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