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Hepatitis A and Undercooked Shellfish - Topic Overview

Eating raw shellfish, especially oysters, may put you at risk for hepatitis A.

Bivalves such as oysters and clams filter large amounts of water when feeding. If shellfish are living in water that has been contaminated with stool containing the hepatitis A virus, the shellfish may carry the virus. People then may get it when they eat the raw or undercooked shellfish.

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Raw shellfish also may carry other viruses and bacteria that can make people sick.

Not everyone who eats contaminated raw oysters or other raw shellfish will become sick. But to reduce the chance of getting sick, make sure that shellfish have been cooked thoroughly.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 30, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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