More than 640 people in 11 US states have been diagnosed with Cyclospora, with the outbreak possibly related to bagged salad products. The bagged salads included iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. Symptoms of cyclosporiasis, a disease caused by a microscopic parasite, include lack of appetite and weight loss, bloating, nausea, low-grade fever, weakness, and diarrhea. Cases have been recorded in almost a dozen states between May and this month. Of those infected with the multi-state outbreak of Cyclospora, 37 were hospitalized, the Food and Drug Administration said. There were no confirmed deaths.
The outbreak is being investigated by the FDA, the CDC, and the state and local authorities. Cyclospora infections may be linked to salad products manufactured by Fresh Express containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots and distributed in several regions of the United States. The inquiry includes Fresh Express branded items as well as Fresh Express items for department store brands sold at ALDI, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, ShopRite and Walmart. Investigators continue to investigate and many retail brands can be affected.
The contaminated products were manufactured at its Streamwood, IL facility containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots due to potential contamination by Cyclospora.
These goods carrying the product code Z178 or lower is sold in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin.
Like some other foodborne diseases, Cyclospora does not have a DNA-fingerprint technology that can determine the source of the drug. The epidemiological investigation by the FDA helped establish that the drug was sold in a variety of markets, it said.
But what is the Cyclospora? What does it mean to consume a pathogenic parasite? As some of the most well-known foodborne pathogens, such as Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria, Cyclospora is not a bacterium — it is a parasite.
Cyclospora cayetanensis is the full name of the single-cell parasite implicated in the recent outbreak. A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host and receives sustenance at the expense of that host. Malaria is another major parasite associated disease.
Previous outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the United States have been related to raspberries, basil, cilantro, snow peas, and mesclun lettuce. While it is unclear precisely how food and water become contaminated with Cyclospora, people should be aware that it is impossible to be eliminated by rinsing or washing milk.
If you get an infection from Cyclospora, the most important thing you can do is stay hydrated because you can lose a lot of fluids from your symptoms.
It comes at a time when the United States is facing the Covid-19 pandemic. With more than 4 million coronavirus infections to date, the US is at the top of the global coronavirus list, followed by Brazil and India. Indeed the year 2020 is not good for any of the countries. People need to start giving a lot of attention to what they are consuming.