News Flash Home
The original item was published from 7/13/2018 11:11:45 AM to 7/14/2020 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

Public Health News

Posted on: July 13, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Shellfish Vibrio Illness Rates Increasing

Check Before You Dig

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Dawson, Water Quality Manager
Jefferson County Public Health
360-385-9444 x301

Port Townsend – Several cases of vibriosis have been confirmed in Jefferson County in people who have consumed raw shellfish. Vibriosis is a gastrointestinal illness that can be caused by consuming raw shellfish from waters where Vibrio bacteria are abundant. Warm weather is a factor in the increased abundance of the bacteria, and if the shellfish are not properly handled and prepared, illness can result. In addition to the local illness cases, the Washington State Department of Health reports that they have seen high numbers of confirmed vibrio illnesses statewide since the beginning of the warm weather season. A Vibrio Warning was issued by State Health on May 15th for the waters of Hood Canal, and Jefferson County Public Health posted warning signs at public beaches from the Hood Canal Bridge south to the Mason County line near Triton Cove. Since illness reports are still being received, Jefferson County Public Health would like to remind the public of some simple ways to reduce the risk of vibriosis:

  • Dig at the waterline as the tide goes out.
  • Don’t harvest shellfish that have been baking the sun.
  • Chill your shellfish as quickly as possible.
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly to 145°F for at least 15 seconds. The FDA suggests steaming oysters for 4 to 9 minutes or boiling them for 3 to 5 minutes after they open.

Recreational shellfish harvesters should always check the Shellfish Safety Map at doh.wa.gov/ShellfishSafety.htm or call the Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State. Recreational harvesters should also check Fish and Wildlife regulations and seasons at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish or call the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline 1-866-880-5431.
For more information on Vibriosis, see this information webpage at doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish/RecreationalShellfish/Illnesses/Vibriosis. State Health also maintains a Facebook page with shellfish safety information at facebook.com/WAshellfishsafety. For questions about Jefferson County shellfish safety call 360-385-9444 Monday through Thursday 9:00 – 4:30. Anyone experiencing symptoms of illness should contact their health care provider, and can also consult one of the nurses at Jefferson County Public Health at 360-385-9400. More information about Jefferson County shellfish safety is available on our website at jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/735/Shellfish-Monitoring.

###

Jefferson County Public Health

Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community

Other News in Public Health News

Press Releases (8)

Quilcene Bay Shellfish Advisory Removed

Posted on: October 28, 2022
PSPQuilceneBay20221003

Quilcene Bay Shellfish Closure

Posted on: October 3, 2022
DSC_8351

Oak Bay Shellfish Closure for Biotoxin

Posted on: September 16, 2022
Press Releases (2)

Discovery Bay Shellfish Closure

Posted on: June 27, 2022
Press Release Anderson Lake

Anderson Lake High in Toxin

Posted on: April 29, 2022
Jefferson County Public Health Logo

Opioid Crisis in Jefferson County

Posted on: April 11, 2022
Free tests, masks

Free home test kits, masks

Posted on: February 15, 2022
Public Health Order Update

Public Health Order Update

Posted on: February 11, 2022
February Vaccination Clinics Social Media

Vaccination Clinics in February

Posted on: January 28, 2022
Jan 29 Vaccination Clinic

Vaccination Clinics on January 29

Posted on: January 19, 2022
Care-a-Van Coming to PT

Vaccination Clinics on January 22

Posted on: January 14, 2022
January Vaccination Clinics (1)

Vaccination Clinics Set for January 8 & 15

Posted on: December 27, 2021
20211005 North Beach Sewage Outfall Break Yellow Sign

Sewage Outfall Break at North Beach

Posted on: October 5, 2021
DSC_5462

Discovery Bay Shellfish Closure

Posted on: July 14, 2021
20210513_cyanobacteria bloom tim photo credit anderson lake

ANDERSON LAKE HIGH IN TOXINS

Posted on: May 13, 2021

DISCOVERY BAY SHELLFISH CLOSURE

Posted on: April 9, 2021
20171005_HealthInsSignup

WA Healthplanfinder's Open Enrollment

Posted on: October 5, 2017
ButtonLakeClosedszd

Anderson Lake Closed Due to Toxins

Posted on: May 25, 2017
ButtonLakeClosedszd

Gibbs Lake Closed Due to Toxin

Posted on: August 17, 2017