Oysters Are Loaded with Herpes, Global Warming to Blame

You better stop picking up oysters at last call at that shady bar in the bad side of town, because they’re filthy dirty. Global warming may be to blame for a new rash of the herpes virus wiping out Pacific oysters.

Make sure you double bag your oysters now! Actually, that’s just a joke, the oyster herpes can’t be transmitted to humans. But the virus can still harm the fishing industry, because dead oysters are unsafe to eat.

Scientists aren’t sure why this herpes virus has reared its ugly head, but global warming might be a cause. The new strain of herpes, named OsHV-1, remains dormant in oysters until water temperatures exceed 61 degrees. Warm waters have killed 20% to 100% of Pacific oysters in some French beds in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Herpes infected oysters also have been found in the United Kingdom.

But the “conservative” Stephen Colbert, on his show The Colbert Report, puts the blame firmly on the oysters – sluty oysters. “Oysters, stop seducing bivalve-curious humans by fluttering your filters to any guy looking to shuck you all night long! He exclaimed during last week’s “Aqua ThreatDown.”

Luckily for Stephen, oysters grown in the United States are likely to avoid the outbreak, because the U.S. does not typically import oysters from Europe. But a different, less virulent, herpes-like virus has been found in California.

In related news, if herpes riddled oysters don’t turn you on, maybe these sexually explicit vegetables will. Or foods like watermelon, chocolate, asparagus, avocados, pumpkin seeds, and figs; which all have some naughty properties. So, is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Wink, wink.

Image credit: The Colbert Report