April 18, 2024

Nebraska Cyclospora Outbreak Reaches 53 Cases

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced that the Cyclospora outbreak in that state has sickened 53 people. The outbreak is concentrated mostly in the eastern part of the state. Three people have been hospitalized and have since been released. New cases are being reported every day. The outbreak in neighboring Iowa has reached more than 70 cases.

cyclospora-outbreak-384Fresh fruits and vegetables are usually associated with Cyclospora outbreaks. Based on interviews with sick people, fresh vegetables appear to be the cause of the outbreak. Locally grown produce is not part of this outbreak. Most symptoms started no later than the end of June, which may suggest that the food source has gone through the system because fresh produce has a limited shelf life.

Dr. Joseph Acierno, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS said in a statement, “we’re hoping to find the outbreak is limited in duration and scope and this is an encouraging sign. We are still working to locate the exact source of the outbreak and will remain vigilant in investigating newly reported cases.”

The symptoms of a Cyclospora infection include diarrhea that can last for months, loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, stomach cramps, intestinal gas, vomiting, nausea, low-grade fever, and muscle aches. If you are experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor and ask for a Cyclospora test. This test is very specific and is not often used in the United States.

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