Following reports of food poisoning outbreaks, France has banned the sale and production of Normandy and Arcachon oysters. The highly contagious norovirus has been found in the oysters.
Norovirus is a virus that causes gastroenteritis, often characterized by symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Oysters can become contaminated with norovirus because they are filter feeders, meaning they consume plankton and other substances from the surrounding water.
If the water in which oysters live is contaminated with norovirus, typically due to sewage or other human waste sources, the oysters can accumulate the virus.
People can become infected when eating raw or undercooked oysters that contain norovirus. This is why outbreaks of norovirus are often associated with eating raw oysters.
“We don’t buy oysters because apparently there’s a problem. We’re with our family, and they’ve already been ill at Christmas with oysters,” shopper Martine Lambotin told news agency Reuters. “They’ve actually got gastroenteritis. So we thought we’d better avoid it now.”
Oyster sellers in Nogent sur Marne, south-west of Paris, said the ban was affecting their businesses.
“Well yes, it’s an iconic product, that’s a loss. But that’s the way it is. Anyway, it’s better to withdraw them than to take risks,” fisherman Yann Clorellec said.
An oyster is a type of animal that lives in the water. It has a hard shell that opens and closes. Oysters are not like fish or other animals that move around a lot. They usually stay in one place
They eat by filtering tiny bits of food from the water. This means they take in water and trap little food particles from it. Oysters are important because they help clean the water where they live.
Oysters exhibit characteristics typical of animal life, such as feeding, reproduction, and response to environmental stimuli.
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