September 20, 2020

If You Have Cyclospora Symptoms, Please Get Tested For the Parasite

For many reasons, probably including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, these days many people are reluctant to go to the doctor if they are sick. This can lead to disastrous consequences. In the field of food poisoning, these patients may be misdiagnosed, go undiagnosed, and may suffer permanent lifelong health consequences if not treated. If you have cyclospora symptoms, please get tested for the parasite.

Francesco Carta fotografo/Moment/Getty Images

There is an ongoing cyclospora outbreak in the U.S. that is linked to recalled Fresh Express bagged salads. The salads were sold at these stores: Hy Vee, Giant Eagle, ShopRite, ALDI, Walmart, and Jewel Osco in many states. At least 206 people in 8 states in the midwest are sick. The case count by states as of June 29, 2020  is: Iowa (74), Illinois (57), Kansas (1), Minnesota (25), Missouri (10), Nebraska (20), North Dakota (6), and Wisconsin (13).

This illness can be serious. At least 23 people have been hospitalized for dehydration or other complications in the past few weeks. Some people may suffer long term damage to their intestines. Others may suffer a serious electrolyte imbalance. People who can’t afford to lose weight may reach a dangerous weight. And anyone with an underlying health condition may become seriously ill or weakened.

This infection and its symptoms can last for months if untreated. Symptoms can seem to go away and then recur without warning, which can render patients housebound. There is treatment, but it is a sulfa-based drug. Anyone who is allergic to sulfa doesn’t have a good alternative treatment.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Noted food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker said, “Anyone who ate one of the recalled Fresh Express salads and is sick should get tested. There is no reason to suffer for weeks or months when there is an effective treatment that can reduce the length of this illness.”

With the pandemic, video conferences between patients and doctors are now common. While this may be fine for some illnesses and diagnoses, cyclosporiasis requires a stool sample test for proper diagnosis. The sample must be examined under a microscope to look for oocysts. And you have to ask for that test; doctors do not routinely offer it, even though cyclospora outbreaks are now routine in the summer months in the U.S.

Another risk factor of not being physically tested is that some doctors will prescribe antibiotics that will not treat this infection properly. Not only will that not make you better, it could contribute to the worldwide issue of antibiotic resistance. Some antibiotics may destroy the parasite before it can be detected.

Finally, health departments and hospitals in your area may be overwhelmed because of COVID-19 illnesses. It’s up to you to insist that you get the correct medical care you deserve. You most likely will have to ask for the test since it has to be specially prescribed. Some doctors will say it’s not necessary; politely disagree. Persist and get tested so you are properly treated and your health is protected. If you have cyclospora symptoms, please get tested.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a cyclospora infection after eating recalled Fresh Express bagged salads, or any other type of food poisoning, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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