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Oysters could be to blame for cruise ship illnesses

Chinese scientists have found a link between the cruise-ruining norovirus and oysters.
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It's a good thing summer is nearly over, because there's bad news about the season's staple food.

Chinese researchers have connected oysters to norovirus — the one that can turn an entirecruise shipinto a floating septic tank—according to the New York Times.It spreads fast andcan cause anything from a few days of stomach flu to potentially death in babies and the elderly.

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But it turns out all the hand-washing we've been told to do may not have been doing much to prevent infections. An analysis of over 1,000 norovirus samples from oysters found an 80 percent overlap with strains taken from humans.

Food science specialist Yongjie Wang at Shanghai Ocean University theorized that the virus hides out in oysters until the next convenient human comes along. (That sound you hear is the movie script already writing itself.)

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Oh, and they saved the best news for last: There's currently no way to detect a norovirus-infected oyster. Now if you'll excuse us, we'll be over here drowning our sorrows inPumpkin Spice Lattes.

 

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