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Shellfish Harvesting near Hampton Closed

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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.

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

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.