May 28, 2020

Texas Cyclosporiasis Cases Surge to 110

Texas cyclosporiasis cases have surged to 110, the state health department is reporting. This is the second straight year that Texas has experienced a cyclospora outbreak.  Last year, 270 Texans were sickened by the rare parasite normally associated with travel to tropical or sub-tropical regions. Many of the 2013 cases were linked to contaminated cilantro imported from Mexico. A food source for this year's cases has not yet been identified. Symptoms of cyclosporiasis can last up to two months and include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. Symptoms such as vomiting, body aches, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms are also possible. Cyclosporiasis can be treated with antibiotics. The most common approach is … [Read more...]

Cyclospora in 13 States Sickens 125

At least 125 cases of cyclospora infection have been reported in 13 states, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) in Minnesota.  Health officials have not determined if the cases are linked and a food source has not been identified. But as spike in cases is unusual. Cyclospora is a rare parasite normally associated with tropical or subtropical climates. In the U.S., cases of infection, called cyclosporiasis, are most often associated with travel. Last year, the single-celled organism burst into national headlines when a 25-state outbreak sickened 631 people, hospitalizing 49. Produce imported from Mexico was identified as the source of most of those illnesses. Cyclospora is transmitted via the fecal-oral route, meaning microscopic amounts of … [Read more...]

CDC Issues Final Report on Cyclospora Outbreak

The Cyclospora outbreak that began in June sickened 631 people in 25 states before ending in late September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which issued its final report on the outbreak today. Health investigators determined that there were multiple sources for illnesses reported. In Iowa and Nebraska, the food source was identified as commercial bagged salad mix and in Texas many illnesses were caused by cilantro. Cyclospora, a rare parasite usually associated with travel to tropical areas, causes an infection called cyclosporiasis. Symptoms include a watery diarrhea that lasts an average of 57 days if untreated. Other symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss,  bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and low-grade … [Read more...]

FDA: Cyclospora Outbreaks Over, Food Source in Most States Unknown

The Cyclospora outbreaks are over, but the food source that caused the illnesses in all but three states remains a mystery, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The outbreaks sickened 643 people in 25 states but they did not all have a common food source. One hundred and twenty six people in 22 states don't know what they ate that made them sick. Health authorities identified the food source for some of the 278 cases in Texas as cilantro imported from Mexico and for all of the 153 cases in Iowa and 86 cases in Nebraska as bagged salad mix with greens made from ingredients that were also imported from Mexico. In all three states, the contaminated produce was served at restaurants.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not released the names of … [Read more...]

Texas Cyclospora Illnesses Linked To Cilantro From Restaurants and Grocery Store

Cyclospora on Cilantro imported from Mexico sickened 30 people who ate at a Mexican-style restaurant in Fort Bend County, Texas, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health investigators also identified illness clusters associated with two other Texas restaurants and one grocery store. The agency has not released the names of the restaurants or the store, which is located in North Texas. Shopper card information revealed that four people who were sickened had all purchased fresh cilantro within three days of each other. The purchases were made seven to 10 days before they became ill, which is consistent with the incubation period for cyclosporiasis, the infection caused by the Cyclospora parasite. In interviews with the 278 Texans … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak Lost in the Shutdown Shuffle?

Remember the Cyclospora outbreak? A source for most of the illnesses had not been discovered when federal investigators last issued an update about a month ago. At that point, the outbreak had sickened  643 people in 25 states. The source of the 153 illnesses in Iowa and 86 illnesses in Nebraska has been identified as contaminated salad mix from Taylor Farms of Mexico served at Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants. But investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who do think the same mix is responsible for illnesses in others states, have yet to find a source for the 400 illnesses in the 23 other states. CDC investigators have said they believe the illnesses may be separate concurrent or overlapping … [Read more...]

CDC Advice For Food Handlers With Cyclosporiasis

At least a few of the 610 people in 22 states who have been diagnosed with cyclosporiasis, the infection caused by the rare parasite Cyclospora, are food handlers. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some advice for them: if you have diarrhea, don't go to work.  This advice applies to food handlers at all times, but is worth repeating as case counts climb. By state the 610 cases reported so far are as follows: Texas (258), Iowa (156), Nebraska (86), Florida (31) Wisconsin (16), Illinois (11), Arkansas (10), New York City (7), Georgia (5), Missouri (5), Kansas (4), Louisiana (3), New Jersey (3), Connecticut (2), Minnesota (2), New York (2), Ohio (2), Virginia (2), California (1), New Hampshire (1), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), and Wyoming (1). At least 43 … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak: 609 Illnesses in 22 states

At least 609 people in 22 states have confirmed cases of Cyclospora infections, 40 of them have been hospitalized, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That total represents an increase of eight confirmed cases since yesterday’s update. Some illnesses have likely not been reported yet, particularly those that began after July 16. Because there is some time between the date a person first becomes ill and the date a Cyclospora infection is confirmed, illnesses occurring may not yet have been reported because of the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This could take up to 5 to 6 weeks. The case counts by state are as follows: Texas (257), Iowa (156), Nebraska (86), Florida (31), Wisconsin … [Read more...]

Cyclospora: Almost 600 Sick, Slow Progress, No Recall

Almost 600 people in 20 states now have confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And the actual total is likely higher as some states have consistently reported more cases than are reflected in the agency's updates. (This post was updated August 19.) The outbreak has grown steadily since it was announced in early July, but with the exception of Iowa and Nebraska, progress on the investigation has been slow. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has described the work as "painstaking." Health officials in Iowa and Nebraska linked their cases to salad served at Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants in those states. Days later, the FDA announced that the source of the contaminated salad … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Investigation Halts Taylor Farms Production In Mexico

One week after salad it produced was linked to a Cyclospora outbreak that sickened hundreds of people in Iowa and Nebraska, Taylor Farms de Mexico voluntarily suspended production and shipment of leafy greens, salad mix and salad mix components from its operations in Mexico to the United States, the company told the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today. The company, which suspended operations Friday, has told FDA officials that it will not resume production or shipment of these products without the agency's approval. The suspension of operations at the plant in Mexico includes the implicated salad ingredients: iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red cabbage and carrots;  and others including green leaf lettuce and green cabbage. In Iowa and Nebraska, about 240 people who ate … [Read more...]

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