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The Risks of Eating Raw Oysters


oysterYou may have heard that it’s safe to eat oysters during months that end in R. But eating raw or undercooked oysters can be fatal for some people. Vibrio are naturally occurring bacteria in marine and estuarine waters throughout the world. Eating raw or undercooked oysters is one way people become infected with Vibrio bacteria. While this bacterium may cause gastrointestinal illness in healthy people, individuals with liver disease such as cirrhosis, chronic medical conditions such as kidney disease, iron disorders, or diabetes or those whose immune systems are compromised are at a high risk of severe or fatal infection.  While those individuals may enjoy fully cooked seafood, they should not eat raw or undercooked shellfish. For more information on Vibrio and the risks of eating raw oysters and clams, go to www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/factsheets/pdf/oystersvibrio.pdf

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: 07-30-2011

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