An outbreak of Herpes has been found in a Dorset Oyster farm. All movement of Oysters has been banned. However, these traditional aphrodisiacs are not thought to be a threat to human health.
The Herpes virus was found by a regular inspection at the farm of Pacific oysters in the harbour in Poole. Herpes can only occur when the water temperatures are higher than 16C. Like humans, there is no cure for herpes in an oyster, but unlike humans, the oyster will die, whereas our bodies are likely to get used to the virus and the number of outbreaks and their severity will decrease over the years.
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) said there “were no implications for human health”, and the Fish Health Inspectorate and Cefas epidemiologists are currently investigating the outbreak.
A Cefas spokesman said: “It is important that the disease is contained to prevent its spread to other oyster-growing areas in Great Britain.”
There have been previous outbreaks in the UK: in 2010 in Whitstable, Kent, and in 2012 in the River Blackwater, Essex, were also contained through movement bans.
You will not have caught Herpes from eating oysters, but if you want to know whether your cold sores are the herpes virus then Better2Know can help you to get tested at any of its clinics across the UK.
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