Sewage spill leads to localized ban on shellfish harvesting

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s health department has closed shellfish harvesting on part of a Chesapeake Bay estuary because of a raw sewage spill.

The Virginia Department of Health said in a statement Wednesday that the spill was on a portion of Back River in Hampton. The ban on shellfish harvesting is due to potential contamination. It includes oysters and clams but not crabs or fin fish.

The emergency closure will remain in effect until June 7. The department’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation will monitor water quality in the meantime.

Maps of the affected areas are posted on the Division of Shellfish Sanitation’s home page at www.vdh.virginia.gov/Shellfish/ .

Eating the affected shellfish could cause gastrointestinal illnesses that include norovirus, hepatitis A and shigellosis.

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