December 11, 2018

Now 616 Sickened in Nationwide Cyclospora Outbreak

As of August 28, 2013, there are now 616 people sickened in the nationwide Cyclospora outbreak. The ill persons live in 22 states: Texas (263), Iowa (156), Nebraska (86), Florida (32), Wisconsin (16), Illinois (11), Arkansas (10), Georgia (5), Missouri (5), New York City (5), Kansas (4), New Jersey (4), Louisiana (3), Virginia (3), Connecticut (2), Minnesota (2), New York (2), Ohio (2), California (1), New Hampshire (1), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), and Wyoming (1).

Cyclospora-82813

Some of the cases may be from travel to other states, and one case may be associated with travel out of the country. Among the 591 people with available information, 45 have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Taylor Farms de Mexico, with FDA approval, has resumed production and shipment of salad mix, leafy greens, and salad mix components to the United States. The illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska are linked to the Taylor Farms products sold at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. But the outbreak in Texas, which is the largest in the country, does not appear to have a connection to Taylor Farms de Mexico. And not all of the cases in all of the states are directly related to each other.

Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 92 years. The median patient age is 51. Fifty-six percent of ill persons are female. Any illnesses that occurred after July 22, 2013 may not be reported because it takes time to diagnose this particular illness, and doctors and laboratories are not used to diagnosing it.

The symptoms of a Cyclospora illness include watery diarrhea, which  may be explosive and last for months, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, bloating, increased gas, nausea, weight loss, and fatigue. The treatment for Cyclospora is sulfa drugs, to which some people are allergic. Be sure to wash all produce before preparing or eating, and scrub firm fruits and vegetables with a clean brush. Always refrigerate cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables within 2 hours and make sure your refrigerator is set to 40°F or below.

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