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More Illness Linked to Bad Oysters

July 2, 1998

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) _ Another 58 people have been identified as victims of bacteria-tainted oysters from Galveston Bay.

Doug McBride, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Health, said the cases confirmed Thursday bring the total since June 1 to 245, including 206 in Texas, 36 in Florida and three in Tennessee.

The number surpasses an outbreak last year involving 208 people in the Pacific Northwest who were sickened by bacteria-tainted oysters. One died.

Fishermen have agreed to stop harvesting from Galveston Bay and recall in-the-shell oysters taken from seven of the bay’s 43 commercial lease sites.

Oysters harvested and shipped for cooking are not included in the recall.

Health authorities blame the problem on a bacterium called Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which is killed by thorough cooking. Symptoms range from diarrhea to nausea and fever.

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