FDA Probes 2 Cyclospora Outbreaks [Updated]

Updated August 3 The FDA is investigating two Cyclospora outbreak that includes at least 66 people. Outbreaks linked to Cyclospora, a parasite native to tropical climates, are frequently associated with imported fresh produce and leafy greens. In 2020, 701 people were part of a Cyclospora outbreak linked to Fresh Express salads.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not revealed the food source of this outbreak but it appears to have suspects as traceback investigations are underway. During interviews with health officials, outbreak patients were asked about the foods they ate in the weeks before becoming ill. Many of them must have named the same food maybe even the same brand. And now the FDA is tracing back the farm-to-fork route in reverse.

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What is Cyclospora?

Cycylospora lawyer- iceberg salad greens with shredded carrots and red cabbage

Humans are the only known reservoirs for Cyclospora, a parasite native to tropical climates. Infections occur when people consume food or water contaminated with human feces containing the parasite. In the U.S. and Canada, non-travel-related cases are often linked to imported produce. Previous Cyclospora outbreaks have been linked to salad, vegetables, herbs, and berries. Most Cyclospora occur between the months of May and August.

Symptoms of a Cyclospora infection include diarrhea that is often described as explosive and watery, abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. These symptoms can appear within 1 to 14 days of exposure.

Untreated, symptoms of a Cyclospora infection can last for months. Doctors usually prescribe the antibiotic combination Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, sold under the brand names Bactrim, Septra, and Cotrim to treat cyclosporiasis. There isn’t an effective antibiotic regimen for patients with sulfa allergies.

Unlike food poisoning caused by bacterial pathogens, there isn’t a whole genome sequencing test that can identify the genetic fingerprint of Cyclospora. So, outbreaks are identified by gathering food histories of people sickened.

Cyclospora used to be primarily associated with travel to underdeveloped countries. But when the parasite began to be regularly linked to imported produce, the CDC began reporting non-travel-related cases. The current outbreaks are subsets of these cases.

Between May 1, 2022, and July 28, 2022, health officials from 22 states reported a total of 384 cases of cyclosporiasis and 30 hospitalizations, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Canada, public health officials reported 208 such cases and 10 hospitalizations through July 27. The Canadian cases were reported from three provinces: British Columbia (3), Ontario (191), and Quebec (14).

Cyclospora cases reported from May 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022

Experienced Cyclospora Lawyers

Pritzker Hageman Cyclospora lawyers have represented clients sickened in every major Cyclospora outbreak in the U.S. To request a free consultation about your potential case, please call 1-888-377-8900, text 612-261-0856, or complete the form below.

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Category: Cyclospora, Food Poisoning
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