BATON ROUGE- Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health today ordered the closure of Area 29, the oyster growing area in Calcasieu Lake (lower Calcasieu Lake).

LDH Assistant Secretary M. Rony Francois, M.D., MSPH, Ph.D., and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the closure order when the department was notified that a Norovirus outbreak in North Carolina may have been caused by oysters harvested from Area 29.

The closure is effective at sundown today, January 14, 2010.  Over the next week the LDH Molluscan Shellfish Program will evaluate the growing area and reopen it when the oysters in Area 29 are determined to be safe to eat.  

LDH has notified local oyster harvesters that work the affected area, as well as the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit