r of gastrointestinal illnesses associated with contaminated raw shellfish prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to advise consumers not to eat raw clams harvested in the Pacific Northwest. The advisory came on the heels of a July 31 warning advising consumers to avoid eating raw oysters harvested in the same area. To date, 72 laboratory-confirmed and an additional 105 probable illnesses have been reported from Washington state, Oregon and New York linked to contaminated oysters and clams, the FDA said. The illnesses were caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a naturally occurring bacterium. In Washington state, authorities were identifying and closing harvest areas where oysters and clams associated with the illnesses originated. Most illnesses that occur from eating raw shellfish are not life-threatening, and typically range from mild intestinal disorders of short duration to acute gastroenteritis, the FDA said.