State: Cyclospora outbreak source likely gone

2013-07-18T04:30:00Z 2013-07-18T11:48:03Z State: Cyclospora outbreak source likely gone The Quad-City Times

The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting a total of 102 cases statewide of cyclospora, a gastrointestinal illness caused by consuming contaminated water or fresh produce. 

However, state officials said this week that that the incidence of the illness is decreasing and the onset dates suggest that people ate contaminated food, probably vegetables, in mid-June. Since vegetables have a short shelf life, public health officials believe the source of the illness is gone, but the investigation continues into just how the outbreak started.

At no time was any Iowa-grown food suspected of being involved in the outbreak.

Linn County, Iowa, where Cedar Rapids is located, had 34 reports of the illness, by far the most of any of county among the 27 where it has been confirmed. One case was officially reported in Cedar County, but none in the Quad-Cities.

Cyclospora causes a severe case of diarrhea and other symptoms that can last for weeks if left untreated. It can only be confirmed though a specific test, but it can be treated with antibiotics.

                                                                      — Deirdre Cox Baker

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