Cyclospora outbreak tops 275 cases, New Jersey reports first case of the parasitic infection
With the numbers continuing to climb in the current Cyclospora outbreak, federal health authorities reporting approximate 284 cases as of this writing, the investigation continues into the source of the outbreak and whether the cases are all related among the several states.
New Jersey joins the outbreak map becoming the ninth state to report a case to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to an update July 24.
Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut, Illinois and Kansas join the Garden State in this outbreak. The vast majority of cases are still being reported from the three midwestern states of Iowa, Nebraska and Texas.
Iowa alone accounts for 134 cases, or nearly half.
Last Saturday, Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) Medical Director and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said in an interview on Dispatch Radio that the likely source of the outbreak, at least in her state, was fresh vegetables, based on extensive interviews with patients sickened with the parasite.
Concerning prevention of cyclosporiasis, the CDC says, “On the basis of the currently available information, avoiding food or water that may have been contaminated with feces is the best way to prevent cyclosporiasis. Treatment with chlorine or iodine is unlikely to kill Cyclospora oocysts. No vaccine for cyclosporiasis is available.”
Cyclospora sickened about 1,000 people in the mid to late 1990s across North America due to contaminated raspberries from Guatemala.
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