Hundreds of cases of cyclosporiasis have been linked to restaurants and events in Texas, Wisconsin and Georgia. This illness is caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis, a single-celled parasite. The primary characteristic of an is severe, watery diarrhea that can last for over a month.
People sickened may have claims against the restaurant, event planner, caterer and cilantro supplier. They will need to consult a lawyer.
Cilantro is the suspected source of illness clusters in Texas and Wisconsin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are still investigating this outbreak and its source or sources.
What the CDC is Reporting
As of August 25, 2015, the CDC had been notified of 495 ill persons with confirmed Cyclospora infection (cyclosporiasis) from 30 states in 2015. This is what we know so far:
- 293 (59%) of the 476 people sickened experienced onset of illness on or after May 1, 2015;
- These 293 persons were from the following 23 states: Arkansas (3), California (2), Connecticut (3), Florida (10), Georgia (23), Iowa (1), Illinois (7), Kansas (2), Massachusetts (10), Maryland (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (1), Montana (3), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (6), New Mexico (2), New York (excluding NYC) (9), New York City (21), North Carolina (1), Texas (168), Utah (1), Virginia (3), Washington (2), and Wisconsin (10).
- Clusters of illness linked to restaurants or events have been identified in Texas, Wisconsin, and Georgia.
- Cluster investigations are ongoing in Texas and Georgia.
- Cluster investigations in Wisconsin and Texas have preliminarily identified cilantro as a suspect vehicle.
- Investigations are ongoing to identify specific food item(s) linked to the cases that are not part of the identified clusters.
- A lawsuit has been filed by a cilantro supplier against an importer and distributor of cilantro. The lawsuit claims the importer sold the supplier cilantro from Puebla, Mexico after an FDA Import Alert regarding the cilantro, and in violation of the purchase agreement, according to news reports, which also stated that an attorney for the supplier said cilantro had been sold to national retailers and that there were reports to the retailers of illness, including some hospitalizations. This means in addition to clusters of illness linked to restaurants and events, that there are illnesses associated with national retailers.