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Croatia's top oyster farmers in alarm after norovirus found


farming is the pride of this small town in the south of Croatia's Sea coast. But tasting the famed local may not be a good idea at the moment.

Authorities have detected norovirus, which causes diarrhea and vomiting, in parts of the triggering shock and alarm among the breeders.

The traditional oyster-tasting feast in March has been canceled and fears are mounting of huge financial losses to the local community that harvests about 3 million each year.

Experts are pointing their fingers at the outdated sewage system in the area that has seen a rise in the numbers of tourists flocking to Croatia's stunning coast.

"I am really sorry but people themselves are to blame that something like this happened," explained from the in nearby Dubrovnik.

"It's something that has to be solved in the future." While some stomach bugs can be eliminated with cooking, norovirus survives at relatively high temperatures.

"The problem with is that they are eaten raw," Onofri said. Stunned locals pointed out their are famous for high quality a 1936 award from a international exhibition still hangs on the wall in in Mali Ston.

"Our here is really a special ... and this is the only place (in the world) where it can be found," he insisted.

"Everyone wants to take our oysters and try to breed them elsewhere." Navigating the oyster fields in their small boats, the farmers proudly show visitors rows and rows of oyster-filled underwater farm beds spreading through the bay.

Top questioned the assumption that the local sewage system was to blame for the outbreak.

"Viruses are everywhere, now as we speak, the air is full of viruses," Antunica said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 11 2019. 15:50 IST