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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2008

Contact: Darlene Yuhas (609) 984-1795
Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994

TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF SHELLFISH HARVEST RELATED TO
VIBRIO PARAHAEMOLYTICUS IN DELAWARE BAY OYSTERS

(08/42) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection today temporarily suspended shellfish harvesting from a portion of the Delaware Bay after state health officials confirmed two cases of illness from Vibrio parahaemolyticus linked to oysters harvested from those New Jersey waters.

The temporary suspension is intended to protect public health while the DEP continues testing shellfish from these waters.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium that occurs naturally in coastal waters, and is not related to human waste or pollution. It thrives under warm temperatures typically is linked to oysters and other seafood harvested and consumed raw during the summer months. It can cause illness, especially in people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and, less frequently, headache, fever and chills. On rare occasions, an infection in the bloodstream can occur.

About 130 square miles of Delaware Bay are affected by the temporary suspension of shellfish harvesting.

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Last Updated: August 19, 2008