(DES MOINES) The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) continues to receive reports of confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection, but numbers are decreasing. In addition, the onset dates of the illness suggest the ill people had eaten the contaminated food in mid-June. This is a very good indication the food which was the source of the outbreak has already been consumed or discarded, since fresh vegetables have a limited shelf life. At no time was an Iowa-grown fruit or vegetable suspected to be the cause of the outbreak.
IDPH encourages Iowans to make fruits and vegetables part of their daily diet. It is always a good idea to wash all fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating. IDPH continues to work with the CDC, other states, other Iowa state agencies and local public health agencies in the investigation of the Cyclospora outbreak to ensure there is no continuing exposure to contaminated food, and to try to understand how the food became contaminated in the first place.
As of today, 81 cases of Cyclospora infections have been reported to IDPH. In southwest Iowa, five cases have been reported in Pottawattamie County, three in Dallas County, two in Mills County and one in Monona County.
People become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite, which causes a watery diarrhea that lasts an average of 57 days if untreated.