LSU professor working to predict oyster contaminations - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

LSU professor working to predict oyster contaminations

Posted: Updated:
Dr. Zhi Qiang Deng Dr. Zhi Qiang Deng
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Seale, AL residents enjoy return of Labor Day Fair

    Seale, AL residents enjoy return of Labor Day Fair

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:26 AM EDT2014-09-02 06:26:07 GMT
    Residents in east Alabama are rounding up the Labor Day celebration at one of the Alabama's oldest courthouses. The courthouse located in Seale, Ala. is the third oldest in the state. This is the first fair
    More >>
    Residents in east Alabama are rounding up the Labor Day celebration at one of the Alabama's oldest courthouses. The courthouse located in Seale, Ala. is the third oldest in the state. This is the first fair since 2010 when the fair restarted, and it originated in 1980 to raise money to refurbish the old courthouse after it began to deteriorate.More >>
  • Boy, 1, drowns in West Point Lake

    Boy, 1, drowns in West Point Lake

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:10 AM EDT2014-09-02 06:10:06 GMT
    A baby is dead after drowning in a west Georgia lake this weekend. Troup County Sheriff's Officials say deputies were called to West Point Lake after a 911 call Sunday afternoon.More >>
    A baby is dead after drowning in a west Georgia lake this weekend. Troup County Sheriff's Officials say deputies were called to West Point Lake after a 911 call Sunday afternoon.More >>
  • Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office investigating murder, attempted murder cases

    Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office investigating murder, attempted murder cases

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:09 AM EDT2014-09-02 06:09:06 GMT
    On August 31 at about 11:33 p.m. CST, the Lee County Sheriff's Office received multiple 911 calls from subjects attending a poker party in reference to a shooting with at least two injured gunshot victims. More >>
    On August 31 at about 11:33 p.m. CST, the Lee County Sheriff's Office received multiple 911 calls from subjects attending a poker party in reference to a shooting with at least two injured gunshot victims. 

     
    More >>
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

According to the Louisiana Seafood website, more than two-thirds of oysters caught in the U.S. are from the Gulf Coast. One area scientist is working to make sure our favorite treats on the half shell are safe to eat year-round.

Dr. Zhi Qiang Deng has spent the last three years studying samples of oysters from Louisiana's Gulf Coast looking for beds that could be contaminated by noroviruses which cause food poisoning.

"Our objective is to better protect public health by combining our regular sampling efforts and our model prediction, said Deng.

Deng says this model, that is still in its beginning stages, is similar to weather forecasting. Monthly samples are taken from beds across the coast and tested. Based on those samples, his team predicts the chance of a norovirus outbreak in each bed.

"The norovirus outbreak normally takes a few weeks. It does not occur overnight," said Deng. "So from the onset of norovirus outbreak to the level that may make people sick, it takes about 10-14 days."

Within this time, scientists hand it to local health inspection teams near the beds to take samples and confirm or deny the prediction. Restaurants say a lot is at stake because, in the past, when an oyster bed was closed for contamination, it scared customers.

"The experience that I've had throughout the years, is that there have been scares that have gone out that have really, really again hurt the industry...hurt the state. When you hurt the industry, you hurt the state. When you hurt the state, you hurt the businesses," said Michael Pearl, dining room manager at Mike Anderson's Seafood restaurant.

Pearl says predicting the contamination could be a very be a good thing, but only if the early warning prompted additional testing before alerts are sent out to the public.

Dr. Deng says right now this model only focuses on oysters...he says they may begin to monitor other seafood in the future.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.