South Shore: Bacteria forces state to shut down oyster beds

Massachusetts health and fishery officials have closed several South Shore oyster beds because of potential bacteria contamination.

The agencies said oysters from the areas have been linked to three cases of a gastrointestinal illness linked to Vibrio parahaemolyticus, or VP.

The DPH said it’s the first time a specific Massachusetts harvest area has been linked to an outbreak.

Officials also are recalling oysters harvested in the closed areas since July 22.

The areas are in Plymouth Harbor, Kingston Bay, Duxbury Bay, Bluefish River and Back River in the towns of Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury and Marshfield.

The Vibrio bacteria are found in warm sea water.

The health department said there have been 50 confirmed cases since the end of May, most from raw oysters in unspecific Massachusetts areas. There were 27 in the same period last year.

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