October 6, 2022

Cyclospora Illnesses Spike to 384 Sick with 30 Hospitalized

Cyclospora illnesses have spiked to 384 sick in 22 states and 30 hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There has been a cyclospora outbreak, in fact, usually several cyclospora outbreaks, in the United States during the spring and summer months every year since 2013. This is an increase of 323 cases since the last update was issued on June 30, 2022. Cases are still being reported.

Cyclospora Illnesses Spike to 384 Sick with 30 Hospitalized

Last year, there were two cyclospora outbreaks that were unsolved that sickened at least 153 people. In 2020, a cyclospora outbreak linked to Fresh Express bagged salads sickened at least 701 people in 14 states and hospitalized 38.

Cases usually peak in June and July, although activity can last through September. The number of clusters vary from season to season. In the past, these outbreaks have been linked to products such as fresh basil, cilantro, mesclun lettuce, raspberries, vegetable trays, and snow peas.

Unfortunately, many of these cases cannot be linked to a specific outbreak, in part because there isn’t a validated laboratory fingerprinting method for this pathogen. Instead, officials use questionnaires and interview patients to find out who they ate before they got sick. A common food can sometimes be linked to illnesses through traceback and epidemiology.

Ill persons live in 22 states and New York City. The median illness onset date is June 30, 2022, and the illness onset range is from May 3, 2022 to July 18, 2022. No deaths have been reported.

A specific case count by state has not been issued by the CDC. But according to the case count map, ill persons live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Cyclospora is a single celled organism that invades the wall of the small intestine, which causes the classic symptom of diarrhea. People eat the sporulated oocyst after it is deposited on plants, which then excyst in the body. The sporozoites mature into oocysts which are excreted in stools. The oocysts must mature outside the body, so this pathogen is not spread person to person.

It’s difficult to protect yourself against this pathogen, since the oocysts are sticky and usually can’t be rinsed off produce, especially leaves of lettuce and fresh herbs, but rinsing does help. Cooking will kill the parasite, but it will survive freezing temperatures.

Symptoms of cyclospoariatsis include explosive and profuse diarrhea, abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, nauseas, weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, body aches, and fever. These symptoms can least for months if not treated. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a cyclospora infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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