More people sickened by cyclospora illness outbreak — McDonald's salads

Desiree Burns
July 21, 2018

Another cyclosporiasis outbreak has been linked to Del Monte vegetable trays, but the FDA says there is no evidence that the two are related. While healthy individuals should recover from a cyclospora infection without treatment, patients with weakened immune systems can be at a higher risk, and three people have been reported hospitalized so far.

The Food and Drug Administration says more than 160 people have fallen ill from a parasitic illness linked to salad purchased at McDonald's. As of July 13, roughly one quarter of 90 people sickened since mid-May in IL had reported eating a McDonald's salad in the days before falling ill, and an additional 15 cases were reported in Iowa.

- A parasite found in the lettuce of McDonald's salads is believed to have caused dozens of people to get sick across the country. The states are Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri. As of July 19, IL health officials had recorded 243 cases of cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite. "The additional states identified by the FDA and CDC are among the same states where a week ago we proactively made a decision to remove our lettuce blend in impacted restaurants and replace it through a different supplier".

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the 163 "laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis" came from health agencies in Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. It takes around a week after exposure for symptoms to appear, and while some people experience no symptoms, others may have "watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements", the CDC explains. The CDC notes that the Florida patient ate one of the salads while traveling in Kentucky. Those infected can experience loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, gas and fatigue.

The FDA is advising that people showing symptoms of cyclosporiasis contact their health care providers immediately.

If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer.

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