Cyclospora investigation continues…numbers changing

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(Updated with revised numbers 10:48-a.m. Wednesday)

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that as of today (Wednesday), they are continuing to receive reports of confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection. The onset dates of the illness suggest the ill people had eaten contaminated food in mid-June. Officials say while the source of the outbreak remains unknown, at no time was an Iowa-grown fruit or vegetable suspected as a cause.

The number of confirmed food-borne intestinal illnesses related to cyclosporiasis in Iowa, is 87, and 27 counties are affected. The Iowa Department of Public Health says at least five people have been hospitalized. Linn County in eastern Iowa continues to lead the state with 31 cases. Polk County has 7 cases, and Pottawattamie County now has 6 cases. Two cases of the illness have been reported in Mills County, and one each in Montgomery, Woodbury and Monona Counties, in western Iowa.

Public health officials say the illness, which causes prolonged diarrhea, is rare. It comes from eating food or drinking water contaminated with feces containing the cyclospora parasite. Many people are reportedly still ill, and some have had relapses of symptoms caused by the parasite.