A bagged salad mix with iceberg and romaine lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage is being seen as the cause of the Cyclospora stomach bug outbreak. “Cyclospora is spread by people ingesting something – such as food or water – that was contaminated with feces (stool). Cyclospora needs time (days to weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person,” informs the Centers for Disease Control which is reporting 378 Cyclospora stomach bug cases in 15 states in its July 31, 2013, CDC report. No one has died due to the Cyclospora infection, but 21 people have been hospitalized.
The bagged salad mix as the cause for the Cyclospora stomach bug infection outbreak has been determined by Iowa and Nebraska Health departments which have shown the most cases of the Cyclospora infection which is called Cyclosporiasis. Cyclosporiasis is caused by the single-celled coccidian parasite Cyclospora found in feces.
According to a most recent report by the Iowa Department of Public Health, 143 people have been infected with the Cyclospora stomach bug in Iowa and 80% of all Cyclosporiasis cases have been linked to the same bagged salad mix.
“The epidemiologic investigation completed by local public health departments in Iowa and IDPH has implicated a prepackaged salad mix as the source of the outbreak. The food trace back investigation performed by DIA determined that at least 80 percent of these cases had been exposed to the same prepackaged salad mix. The salad mix contained iceberg and romaine lettuce, carrots and red cabbage.”
The bagged salad mix is no longer in Iowa’s food supply chain. So far the health department has not publicized the name of the brand or manufacturer of the bagged salad.
The state department assumes that since the Cyclospora stomach bug outbreak began in the middle of June, that by now most bagged salad mixes have been consumed. The Iowa Department of Health is continuing to receive reports of confirmed cases of Cyclosporiasis but the numbers of reported Cyclosporiasis cases are decreasing.
JTNews19 reports that since the Cyclospora parasite is found in feces, a Cyclospora infection is diagnosed by examining stool specimens. “If a person ill with Cyclosporiasis is not treated, symptoms can persist for several weeks to a month or more. Some symptoms, such as diarrhea, can return; and some symptoms, such as muscle aches and fatigue, may continue after the gastrointestinal symptoms have gone away. “
Due to apparently increasing unsanitary health conditions by manufacturers and feces available everywhere, the bagged salad mix might not be the only source of the Cyclospora stomach bug outbreak in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.