Pond closed to shellfish harvesting after 7 people fall ill

Northeast

Boat on scenic Worden Pond in Rhode Island.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — A pond in Rhode Island has been closed to shellfish harvesting after seven people reported becoming ill after consuming raw shellfish harvested in the area last month.

The state departments of health and environmental management said Saturday that Potter Pond in South Kingstown will be closed until further notice. The agencies said two of the sickened individuals tested positive for Campylobacter Jejuni.

People with Campylobacter infection usually have diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps as well as nausea and vomiting, the agencies said. The symptoms usually start after two to five days and last about one week.

The agencies advise anyone who consumed shellfish from the area and felt ill to seek medical attention as more serious complications can develop.

Health officials say they’ve contacted all commercial harvesters in the area to ensure that any product harvested during the time frame under investigation is not sold at restaurants and markets. It’s also urging recreational harvesters who collected shellfish between Sept. 9 to 11 in the pond to either discard them or avoid consuming them raw or undercooked.

Officials say quick steaming isn’t sufficient to prevent illness but cooking the shellfish until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145°F can reduce risk.

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