At least 457 in 29 states have contracted parasitic infections from eating food contaminated with Cyclospora, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sixteen people have been hospitalized.
Symptoms of a Cyclospora infection, called cyclosporiasis, can last up to two months and include explosive diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, body aches, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms. These symptoms can also last more than 60 days.
About 60 percent of those sickened, 275 people, reported feeling onset of symptoms on or after May 1, 2015. Of those case, the breakdown by state is as follows: Arkansas (2), California (2), Connecticut (3), Florida (11), Georgia (22), Illinois (6), Iowa (1), Kansas (2), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (9), Michigan (2), Missouri (1), Montana (3), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (6), New Mexico (1), New York (excluding NYC) (8), New York City (21), Texas (157), Utah (1), Virginia (3), Washington (2), and Wisconsin (10).
In three states: Texas, Wisconsin, and Georgia, clusters of illness have been linked to restaurants. The names of those restaurants have not been released by state or federal health officials who say their investigations are ongoing.
Make sure you thoroughly rinse all fresh produce you eat before eating it, or peeling and slicing it. You can rinse the parasites off food, but it’s not possible to completely eliminate it this way. Cooking will kill the parasite.
If you are in a high risk group, or have someone like that in your family – a child, an elderly person, someone who is pregnant or someone with a chronic illness – you may want to avoid eating imported raw fruits and vegetables for a while. Cyclospora outbreaks in the past have been linked to imported cilantro, basil, raspberries, mesclun lettuce, snow peas,