In an outbreak of infections from the microscopic parasite Cyclospora, the FDA has initiated onsite inspections and has begun sample collection and analysis, However, the agency has not reported what location is being inspected or what food is being sampled.
The case count in the outbreak has increased from 37 patients a week ago to 38 patients this week. The FDA has not released any patient information, including where the patients live.
In a separate outbreak of Cyclospora infections the patient count has increased from 105 last week to 112 this week.
Cyclospora parasites are often associated with various types of fresh produce, including basil, cilantro, mesclun lettuce, raspberries, and snow peas. Food safety experts say washing product does not remove the parasite.
In third outbreak from the Cyclospora parasite at least 210 people across 22 states have been sickened. Public health officials have not yet determined the source of the parasite.
Federal, state and local public health officials are investigating the outbreak, according to an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration have been tracking the outbreak since April 1. Additional infections could have started before that date.
Also, there are likely more than 210 people in the ongoing outbreak because of the lag time between when patients become ill and when confirmation testing can be completed and results filed with the CDC. Some sick people don’t seek medical attention, also impacting the outbreak count. The parasite is killed by using antibiotics. Specific tests are required to diagnose Cyclospora infections, which can mimic other illnesses.
Anyone who has developed symptoms of Cyclospora infection, and has reason to believe they have been exposed to the parasite, should seek medical attention. Specific tests are required and antibiotics are used to fight the parasite.
Cyclospora infection can cause severe abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, body aches, and fatigue. Symptoms can develop between two and 14 days after exposure. Though symptoms can be severe enough to send people to the hospital, it’s rare for people to die from Cyclospora infections.
Cyclospora is a type of protozoa, which is a tiny, single-celled organism. It is transmitted when people ingest contaminated feces, typically through contaminated food or water. It can be spread only through human waste