Cyclospora Outbreak Injuries Widespread: Specific Products Being Investigated
Tuesday, authorities in health departments in Nebraska and Iowa announced that they had identified bagged salad mix as the source of a significant cyclospora outbreak that has made hundreds of people sick in those states. So far, cyclospora has sickened at least 145 Iowans and 78 Nebraskans.
But the problem is more widespread than that. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cyclospora outbreaks have been reported in 16 states, including Texas and, as of July 29, 372 people have developed a cyclospora infection, or cyclosporiasis. At least 21 people have been hospitalized, and the bulk of the infections occurred between mid-June and mid-July. While Nebraska and Iowa officials believed they have pinpointed a source, the CDC won’t speculate as to whether or not the illnesses in those two states are related to outbreaks in the other 14 states.
The CDC said at least 21 people have been hospitalized and most of the reported illnesses occurred from mid-June to early July. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating the cyclospora infections but have not yet pointed to a source.
Health officials in Nebraska have not publicly identified specific brands of prepackaged salad mix that they believe were making people sick, but the mix included both iceberg and romaine lettuce, red cabbage and carrots, and it moved through national distribution chains. The Nebraska health department said they were working closely with the FDA in order to better understand whether they’re all connected to a common producer.
Iowa health officials expressed confidence that pretty much all of the suspected products were off store shelves and removed from restaurants. They noted that cyclospora infections were reported statewide, but that the larges number of cases came from Cedar Rapids.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that they have received 122 reports of cyclospora illness, but they have not identified a potential source as yet. They still issued a statewide advisory to health care providers to test patients who present symptoms of infection.
Cyclospora is a parasite that is relatively rare in the United States. It is most often found in tropical or subtropical regions, although there have been cases in the past caused by imported fruits and vegetable. In some previous outbreaks, the source was never found. The parasite causes serious gastrointestinal illness, including severe diarrhea, which can sometimes hang on for eight weeks or more. Cyclospora illness, like many other types of food contamination, spread when people eat food that has been contaminated with feces.
If you feel sick, and you have eaten a bagged salad recently, you should see a doctor immediately. If you have been diagnosed with a cyclospora infection, call the Texas Food Poisoning Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today. It is important to act quickly to preserve evidence and to notify government health officials to save others from getting sick.