(DES MOINES) More cases of an intestinal illness caused by Cyclospora have been reported. The Iowa Department of Public Health says as of today, July 12, 45 cases of Cyclospora infections have been reported; almost all have been identified through testing at the State Hygienic Lab.
In southwest Iowa, two cases have been reported in Dallas County, two in Mills County, and one in Pottawattamie County.
The illness occurs when an individual consumes food or water contaminated with the parasite. Fresh fruits and vegetables are typically associated with Cyclospora outbreaks. While the source of this outbreak has not been determined, the investigation, which includes epidemiological interviews with those who have been ill, indicates fresh vegetables, not fruit, are implicated as a likely source.
Additional cases have been identified in Nebraska and other Midwestern states. IDPH is coordinating the investigation with public health officials in those states. Washing fresh produce is recommended; however, it can be very difficult to wash Cyclospora off all types of produce.
Cyclosporiasis causes a watery diarrhea that lasts an average of 57 days if untreated. Other symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, increased gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and low-grade fever.