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Friday, August 9, 2013

Cyclospora outbreak hammers multiple states

As of August 7th 504 cases of the virus Cyclospora have been reported across 16 states, with Texas and Iowa being the hardest hit. The bug, which adversely effects the stomach, causes abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, fever, and diarrhea, the latter of which health officials note can last up to 8 weeks. As of yet no deaths have been reported.

Initial research sourced the first wave of the illness to a farm in Mexico which supplies produce to various restaurant chains, including Olive Garden and Red Lobster. The origin of this second wave however, which just cropped up in the last week, remains a mystery to researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are uncertain if the two waves are related, stating that the equipment they possess is too outdated to make a determination, crippling their prevention efforts.

People become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. While healthy individuals normally recover from the illness without treatment, it is still wise to seek medical attention if you have the symptoms listed above. The other states affected thus far by the outbreak are Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

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