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VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ISSUES EMERGENCY CLOSING OF FISHERMAN'S ISLAND TO SHELLFISH HARVESTING
(RICHMOND, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that Fisherman's Island was closed for shellfish harvesting due to notification of three cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus illness associated with the consumption of oysters harvested from this area. The closure is effective July 12, 2013 through July 11, 2014. The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will monitor the shellfish during this period to determine if the area can be reopened sooner.
A map of the affected area is posted on the Division of Shellfish Sanitation's home page at www.vdh.virginia.gov/shellfish. The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is naturally occurring in brackish saltwater, and can grow in shellfish during the warmer summer months. Although not all strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus cause illness, some strains can cause gastrointestinal illness in humans. The illness is usually self-limiting, lasting for a few days, but can be more serious in people with compromised immune systems.