Stomach Flu Sickens Hundreds After Oyster Event at Fager's Island

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Stomach Flu Sickens Hundreds After Oyster Event at Fager's Island

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An outbreak of gastroenteritis is under state investigation at Fager's Island where an oyster festival was held two weekends in a row. 

So far 164 people have been affected by the stomach flu following the restaurant's "Shell Shocked Oyster & Beer" festival on Nov. 4, according to a statement provided Tuesday by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 

Nine illness complaints to the Worcester County Health Department launched an investigation on Nov. 6. The state health department is now leading the investigation. 

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its website that eating raw oysters possibly harvested in contaminated waters can cause gastroenteritis. 

The second oyster festival at the restaurant was held on Nov. 11. Health officials said no one from the second event has reported any illnesses. 

Gastroenteritis symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain and can last between two to ten days, according to the CDC. 

This is the second outbreak of a foodborne illness on the eastern shore since 150 people suffered salmonella poisoning from a chilli cook off event in Chincoteague last month. 

Fager's Island remains open pending the investigation. State health officials are asking anyone who may have attended the Nov. 4 event to fill out an online survey to provide officials with additional information. You can find the link to the survey here,