Norovirus sickens 39 in Spain with link to mussels

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Mussels linked to norovirus outbreak in Spain
An outbreak of norovirus linked to mussels has sickened 39 people in Spain, according to the country’s Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition.

La Agencia Española de Consumo, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (AECOSAN) said mussels are of Galician origin and those ill are from the Valencia Community.

Estrella Polar brand ‘Mejillón media concha súper’ with lot 010DOP-18 and 015-DOP-18 as well as best before date of 1/2020 and production date 19-1-18 are affected. The product is being removed from the market.

Spain uses the Sistema Coordinado de Intercambio Rápido de Información (SCIRI) to manage the country’s food alert network.

Three stool samples from affected people detected norovirus.

A sample of the suspect product was taken from the same batch and supplier and it found the presence of Norovirus GI and GII.

Symptoms usually appear 24-48 hours after being exposed to the virus and most people recover in one to three days.

Health Authorities of Galicia said distribution of lot 010DOP-18 included Andalucía, Islas Baleares, Cataluña, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, País Vasco, Extremadura, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia Navarra y Valencia as well as Italy and Portugal.

A broader problem?

It is not the first time this year that norovirus has been responsible for a foodborne outbreak in Europe.

Denmark notified the RASFF portal at the end of last month of an outbreak suspected to be caused by norovirus (GI and GII /2g) in live oysters from France.

As did Sweden in mid-March, Finland at the end of February and Netherlands in early February for the same type of product and from the same country.

Two alerts were made by France in mid-February concerning outbreaks caused by norovirus (GI; GII /25g) in live oysters from the country.

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