Packaged salads may be source of Cyclosporiasis outbreak

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with state and local officials are investigating an outbreak of Cyclospora infections after 372 cases have been reported from 16 different health departments across the country.

Click to enlarge the map of reported cases as of July 29 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

There have been reported cases in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, New York City and Ohio.

It is still unclear if all of the cases are part of the same outbreak and what foods are causing the outbreaks. Authorities in Iowa and Nebraska are looking into the possibility the outbreak is linked to packaged salads.

The F.D.A. is looking into the reports from the health departments to investigate the outbreaks and determine the cause. The agency said it is following various leads, including packaged salads.

“Should a specific food item be identified, the F.D.A., C.D.C., state and local partners will work to track it to its source, determine why the outbreak occurred and if contamination is still a risk and implement preventive activation,” the F.D.A. said in a release.

Cyclospora is caused by parasites that are spread when people ingest food or water contaminated with feces. According to the F.D.A., the time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about 1 week. Cyclospora infects the small intestine and usually causes watery diarrhea. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.

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