Bad oysters close shellfishing area in Edgartown

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In this file photo, a fresh harvest of oysters from Katama Bay awaits delivery. The area has been closed to oyster harvesting after three people reported illness. — File photo by Michael Cummo

Katama Bay is closed to oyster harvesting for the next 14 days after three confirmed cases of vibrio parahaemolyticus were linked to the consumption of raw oysters harvested from the area between Sept. 4 and Sept. 12, according to the state Department of Public Health and Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries.

As a result of two of the three confirmed cases being linked to consumption from a single harvest date, the closure is mandated under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration/National Shellfish Sanitation Program’s model ordinance, the release states.

Harvesting, possession, and the sale of oysters harvested from Katama Bay during the closure period is prohibited. The area is expected to reopen Oct. 13, according to the release.

The state has controls in place, which include tagging oysters as they are harvested.

Health officials remind people at high risk, particularly the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, to avoid eating raw shellfish.