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CDC is investigating a multistate outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections linked to fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 13, 2018
Contact: Media Relations,
(404) 639-3286

Read the investigation announcement: https://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/investigations/vibriop-07-18/index.html.

Key Points:

  • CDC recommends that consumers not buy or eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela at this time.
  • CDC, state and local health officials, and the S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections.
  • The outbreak has sickened 12 people from 3 states and the District of Columbia as of July 12, 2018. Four people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic evidence indicates that fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela is a likely source of this outbreak. Investigation into the source is ongoing.
    • This crab meat might be labeled as fresh or precooked. It is commonly sold in plastic containers.
    • Food contaminated with Vibrio usually looks, smells, and tastes normal.
  • CDC recommends that consumers do not buy or eat fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela at this time. Throw it out. If you bought fresh crab meat and don’t know where it’s from, do not eat it and throw it away.
  • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela. If you do not know if the crab meat is imported from Venezuela, ask your supplier.
  • Illnesses in this outbreak started on dates ranging from April 1 to July 3, 2018.
  • Vibrio illness typically begins 24 hours after swallowing the germ. Symptoms of infection include watery diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.
  • Symptoms usually lasts about 3 days, and most people recover without treatment. People with vibriosis should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluids lost through diarrhea.
  • This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

If you have questions about this outbreak, you can call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about illnesses in a particular state or the District of Columbia, you can call that jurisdiction’s health department.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

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