While we’ll never really know what caused those notorious norovirus outbreaks on two Royal Caribbean cruise ships last spring, we can now postulate that passengers might have been chowing down on buckets of oysters. We’ve long understood that the dreaded stomach bug is transmitted through human fluids, but oysters, especially those from populated coastal areas, can also act as 'homes' for the virus.

So what’s an oyster lover to do? If you must consume the slippery little suckers, choose to have them fried instead of raw—the high-heat oil should kill any pathogens. And to avoid transmitting or catching the norovirus, follow the same rules that help prevent the flu: Wash your hands frequently, sanitize all household counters, wash and dry linens regularly and get enough sleep to boost your immunity. Are you surprised that oysters may be the link between deliciousness and sadness?



New York Times: Oysters May Serve as Link in Transmission of Norovirus