UPDATED: Vegetables suspected as cause of cyclospora outbreak - The Packer

UPDATED: Vegetables suspected as cause of cyclospora outbreak

07/15/2013 04:42:00 PM
Coral Beach

“One (state) has a lot of cases, but they haven’t gone public yet,” Quinlisk said July 15.

Quinlisk said the first two cases were confirmed in Iowa in the last week of June. The Iowa outbreak update on July 16 was even more specific.

“Onset dates of the illness suggest the ill people had eaten the contaminated food in mid-June. This is a very good indication the food which was the source of the outbreak has already been consumed or discarded, since fresh vegetables have a limited shelf life. At no time was an Iowa-grown fruit or vegetable suspected to be the cause of the outbreak,” according to the update.

Symptoms usually begin about a week after exposure and can last more than 50 days in healthy people and up to a year in people with compromised immune systems, Quinlisk said. She said Iowa usually has one confirmed case annually, but there are possibly more because a specific lab test is required to detect the parasite.

The most recent widespread outbreak in North America caused by the parasite was in 1996 when more than 850 cases, mostly in 20 states in the U.S. but including some in Canada, were linked to imported raspberries from Guatemala, according to the CDC website. Fresh basil and lettuce have also been linked to U.S. outbreaks caused by the cyclospora parasite.

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