July 22, 2019

Nebraska Cyclospora Outbreak Case Count Increases to 87

As of August 8, 2013, there are 87 people sick with Cyclospora in the state of Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services just updated their case count.  Most of the Cyclospora cases, 47,  are in Douglas county, right next to the Iowa border. Sarpy/Cass has 11 cases, and the Three Rivers region has 5. At least five people have been hospitalized in this outbreak.

Nebraska-cyclospora-8813

The illnesses in that state and in Iowa have been linked to Taylor Farms de Mexico food service salads served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants, part of the Darden chain. The salad mix that has been linked to this outbreak contained iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots.

Cyclospora is a rare parasite that causes gastrointestinal illnesses. The symptoms include watery diarrhea, which can be explosive, and can last for two months. Diarrhea can also recur, even after a patient has been treated with sulfa drugs. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, especially if you ate at a Red Lobster or Olive Garden restaurant, please see your doctor and tell her about this outbreak. The tests for a Cyclospora diagnosis must be specifically ordered because they are not common. The number of cases continue to increase, albeit at a slower rate.

Public health officials believe that the contaminated salad is no longer in the food supply. The facility that supplied the salad, which is located in Mexico, was last inspected in 2011, when the FDA found no notable issues. Environmental assessments are being conducted at the Taylor Farms facilities now.

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