Health

Imported Crab Meat with Vibrio parahaemolyticus sickens 12 in US

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As of July 12, 2018, 12 people infected with Vibrio parahaemolyticus who ate fresh crab meat have been reported from 3 states and the District of Columbia. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page. WGS showed that available isolates from people in this outbreak are closely related genetically. This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak are likely to share a common source of infection.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from April 1, 2018 to July 3, 2018. Ill people range from 26 to 69 years, with a median age of 54. Among ill people, 67% are female. Four people (33%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic evidence indicates that crab meat labeled as fresh or precooked imported from Venezuela is a likely source of this outbreak. Investigation into the source is ongoing.

Public health officials in Maryland first detected this outbreak when they identified Vibrio infections among people who ate crab meat.

FDA and regulatory officials in Maryland traced back the source of the crab meat from the restaurants and grocery stores where ill people bought crab meat. Preliminary evidence gathered in this investigation showed that the crab meat was imported from Venezuela.

Based on the information available at this time, CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell precooked fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela until further notice. This type of product may be labeled as fresh or precooked. It is commonly found in plastic containers. Food contaminated with Vibrio usually looks, smells, and tastes normal.

This investigation is ongoing. FDA and state regulatory officials are working to determine the distribution of imported crab meat and if it was sold in other states.

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