Cyclospora outbreak jumps to 321 cases, Florida investigating 23 cases
The multistate Cyclospora outbreak increased by 36 cases since yesterday’s update to a total of 321 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today.
This total is up from the 285 cases reported yesterday.
In addition, the number of states grew from 11 to 14 and New York City. The states reporting cases to the Atlanta based federal health agency include Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, New York City, Wisconsin, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Ohio. Illinois and Kansas have also notified CDC of one case each that may have been acquired out of state but in the United States.
Most notably, Florida, one of the new states to report cases of the protozoan parasitic infection, is investigating 23 cases of Cyclospora infection in the state.
“Epidemiologists across Florida, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are working to identify the source of these Cyclospora cases,” said Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Carina Blackmore. “Staff are re-interviewing those affected to carefully examine food items and the ingredients those patients were exposed to.”
Caused by a single-celled parasite that infects the small intestine, Cyclospora usually causes diarrhea with frequent bowel movements.
Other common symptoms of Cyclospora infection include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever and other flu-like symptoms may be noted.
Cyclospora is most commonly spread by ingesting water or uncooked food that was contaminated with human feces. Cyclospora infections have been previously linked to various types of fresh vegetables and berries. Cyclospora is not passed directly from one person to another.
During a telebriefing Thursday, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said, “We’re working closely with our partners to determine if other states and more people have been affected and whether the outbreak is ongoing. Most of the cases identified to date have been in people who became ill during June or early July. But it’s too early to say whether the outbreak is ongoing or subsiding and we have not yet identified a source, although I’m confident we will in the coming period. ”
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