The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has announced a shellfish harvesting closure on the Back River due to potential contamination from a sewage spill.
Shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure are currently unacceptable for consumption, according to VDH.
The closure was implemented in response to a significant spill of raw sewage from a broken pipe into a tributary of the Back River in the City of Hampton.
The emergency closure is effective April 5 – 26, 2016, and is scheduled to reopen effective April 27, 2015. The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will monitor the shellfish and water quality during this period to determine if the area can be reopened sooner.
The shellfish harvesting closure includes bivalve mollusks such as oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish. Ingesting shellfish taken from the closed areas could cause gastrointestinal illnesses including norovirus, hepatitis A and shigellosis, according to VDH.
For more information, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov.
source: Virginia Department of Health