November 16, 2020

Canadian Bagged Salad Cyclospora Outbreak Ends With 370 Sick

The Canadian bagged salad cyclospora outbreak has ended, according to Public Health Canada, with at least 370 sick in six provinces, as of November 4, 2020. Exposure to some Fresh Express brand salad products were identified as a “likely source” for some of the illnesses in this outbreak. The notice states that “the outbreak appears to be over and the investigation is winding down.”

Canadian Bagged Salad Cyclospora Outbreak Ends With 370 Sick

There was a similar cyclospora outbreak in the United States this summer. That outbreak, which sickened at least 701 people, was also associated with Fresh Express salad products that were made with iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. Some of the recalled brand names in the United States included ALDI, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, ShopRite, and Walmart.

In Canada, the patient case count by province is: British Columbia (1), Ontario (255), Quebec (105), New Brunswick (1), Newfoundland and Labrador (6), and Nunavut (2). The illness onset dates ranged from mid-May and late August 2020. Ten people were hospitalized because they were so sick. And the patient age range is from 0 to 83 years.

Fresh Express salads that contain iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage were recalled in Canada. The products are now past their shelf-life and are no longer available to the public. Exposure to fresh herbs, including imported fresh cilantro and fresh parsley, were also identified as a likely source for some of the illnesses. But when this information was discovered, investigators were not able to identify any contaminated products available in the Canadian marketplace. For the rest of the illnesses, the source of the parasite was not identified.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis, the illness caused by this parasite, include watery and explosive diarrhea, abdominal bloating and gas, fatigue, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, weight loss, a mild fever, and nausea. Symptoms can appear after a week or two and may seem to go away then appear suddenly and without warning. There is a sulfa based drug for this infection.

If you have been ill with these symptoms, especially if you ate any of the recalled product, see your doctor. You may be part of this Canadian bagged salad cyclospora outbreak.

 

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