Cyclospora Illnesses from Fresh Express salad sold at McDonald’s have ended, but many of those sickened may still choose to file a lawsuit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared an official end to the outbreak on September 12, 2018. The outbreak, which began July 13, 2018, sickened 511 people in 16 states, hospitalizing 24 of them.
The team of Cyclospora attorneys at Pritzker Hageman have filed multiple McDonald’s Cyclospora lawsuits. Contact them for a free evaluation of your case. Or, call 1 (888) 377-8900 (toll-free).
McDonald’s Cyclospora Outbreak Investigation
According to the CDC, health officials used epidemiological and traceback evidence to determine that salads purchased from McDonald’s restaurants in the Midwest were one likely source of this outbreak. This means doctors cultured stool samples from people who were sick and determined that they had cyclosporiasis, a Cyclospora infection. Then, the case patients filled out food histories of foods they had recently eaten and provided information about where those foods were purchased. And this evidence indicated Fresh Express salads served at McDonald’s restaurants were the likely source of the outbreak.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then tested an unused package of romaine lettuce and carrot mix distributed to McDonald’s by the Fresh Express processor in Streamwood, IL. Results were positive for Cyclospora. The FDA then reviewed distribution and supplier information for the romaine land carrot mix but could not “identify a single source or point of contamination for this outbreak.”
What is Cyclosporiasis?
Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis parasites. These parasites get into food via contaminated feces. Symptoms of an infection generally develop about a week after exposure. The hallmark of a Cyclospora infection is diarrhea that is frequent and often explosive lasting for weeks or months. Many of our clients have reported being unable to work because they could not leave their homes due to the severity and frequency of diarrhea. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, abdominal pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.
The antibiotics Bactrim, Septra, or Cotrim are the recommended treatment for a Cyclospora infection. However, they contain sulfamethoxazole, a sulfa drug, which many people are allergic to.
Why is the Outbreak Over?
When health officials alerted McDonald’s to the evidence of an outbreak on July 13, 2018, McDonald’s voluntarily stopped selling salads at over 3,000 locations in 14 states. Health officials continued to track illnesses reported from the states affected and the dates of each patient’s onset of illness. The states reporting cases in this outbreak are: CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, New York City, OH, SD, TN, VA, WI. Because the latest onset-of-illness date reported was July 23, 2018, health officials have determined that the outbreak is over.