What you need to know about cyclospora after salad mix linked to outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control is investigating an outbreak of cyclospora — a very rare parasitic infection that is making hundreds sick.
While the cause has not been identified and health officials are unsure if the cases are related, some health departments are linking the infections to bagged salad mixes.
Here’s what you should to know about cyclospora and that outbreak:
Q: What exactly is cyclospora?
A: It’s an intestinal illness that is caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Q: What usually causes cyclospora?
A: When people consume foods or water that is contaminated with the parasite, they risk becoming infected. Typically, people who live or travel where cyclospora is common — like tropical or subtropical regions — may be at increased risk. However, the patients involved in the first two confirmed cases had not traveled internationally prior to their infections.
Q: What are the symptoms of cyclospora?
A: Symptoms could include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramps and weight loss. The symptoms could last anywhere from a few days to more than a month. The Food and Drug Administration recommends contacting your doctor if your symptoms last for more than 3 days. The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about 1 week.
Q: What’s the scope of the outbreak?
A: As of July 31, the CDC reports the case count to be at 378. There are 15 health departments reporting cases. So far, there have not been any deaths linked to the cyclospora outbreak. However, there have been 21 hospitalizations.
Q: What’s the link to bagged salads?
A: Nebraska and Iowa have performed investigations that link the outbreak to salad mixes — bagged blends of romaine, iceberg, red cabbage and carrots. Health officials in Nebraska say the mix had been pre-washed. The brand has not been named, but say the
Other articles you might also like: