September 22, 2018

Cyclospora Outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska Investigated

The law firm of Pritzker Olsen has been contacted regarding the cyclospora outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska. At least 48 people have been sickened by this parasite in those states. Most illnesses began in mid to late June. At least one person in Iowa has been hospitalized.

cyclospora-outbreak-384Ryan Osterholm, food safety attorney said, “Cyclopsora is a rare, but extremely serious foodborne pathogen.  Pritzker Olsen attorneys are actively looking into the source of this multi-state outbreak.  We have been contacted by several sickened individuals.  If you suspect you are part of this outbreak it is important to see a healthcare professional immediately.  If you have been diagnosed with Cyclopsora, call the attorneys at Pritzker Olsen to find out what rights you have.”

The last multistate cyclospora outbreak in the United States was in 1997, linked to raspberries imported from Guatemala. An outbreak in Pennsylvania in 2000 sickened 54 people who were guests at a wedding, also associated with Guatemalan raspberries. Other outbreaks were associated with mesclun lettuce and basil. The oocysts are very hardy and can live for weeks outside a host.

The parasite causes watery diarrhea that lasts an average of 57 days if not treated. Other symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetitite, weight loss, bloating, increased gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches. Treatment is with antibiotics, along with fluid and electrolyte replacement if necessary.

Cyclospora is a reportable illness. Symptoms usually begin about one week after being infected with Cyclospora cayetanensis. Symptoms may recur more than once if the illness is not treated. The parasite is difficult to diagnose because very specific lab tests are needed. Public health officials are warning health care providers to be on the lookout for this illness and to order the test if symptoms indicate this infection may be present.

Graphic courtesy CDC

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