August 19, 2019

Rep. Rosa DeLauro Asks FDA for Answers on Cyclospora Outbreak

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-NY) asked the FDA for answers on the multistate cyclospora outbreak because public health officials are not releasing information on the name and source of the bagged salad mix linked to the illnesses.

cyclospora-outbreak-384Her letter, to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, states that, “to date there is minimal information available to the public on the possible cause(s) of this outbreak from federal agencies. In [Iowa and Nebraska] the trace back activity indicates an association with a prepackaged salad mix that ‘came through national distribution channels’ according to the announcements from both states.”

She wants the FDA to release details on how the investigation unfolded, whether the FDA and CDC consider it acceptable to identify an outbreak source but withhold public release of that information, how those agencies determine how long the information is withheld, and the legal justification for withholding the information. Rep. DeLauro also requested a timeline of the investigation, including a list of conference calls between federal, state, an local public officials, as well as dates of communication with the public.

The outbreak has now sickened more than 400 people in 16 states. Symptoms of the illness include watery diarrhea that can last for months and recur, nausea, stomach cramps, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. If you or anyone you know has been experiencing these symptoms, particularly if the diarrhea lasts longer than three days, see your doctor. To be diagnosed, cyclosporiasis requires a special test from a stool sample.

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