Health officials in several Midwestern states are continuing to investigate a recent surge in Cyclospora infections from early June, but have still not identified a source. At least 258 people have now fallen ill, predominantly in Iowa, Nebraska and Texas, according to the latest case counts by state health departments.
The latest case count by state is as follows:
Iowa (118 illnesses), Nebraska (68), Texas (65), Wisconsin (4), Illinois (2), Kansas (1).
Investigators have determined that the outbreaks in Iowa and Nebraska are directly connected, but cannot yet confirm that illnesses in Texas and the remaining states are also associated. It will take more time to interview the remaining patients in each state to learn what they ate and hopefully pinpoint a common source, Texas state health department spokeswoman Christine Mann told Food Safety News.
Nebraska state health department spokeswoman Leah Bucco-White echoed that sentiment, saying that it still wasn’t clear if the Texas cases were related to the others.
All of the cases, including those in Texas, have occurred since the beginning of June. No cases of Cyclospora had been reported in Texas this year until then, Mann said.
Investigators suspect the source is a fresh vegetable product imported to the affected states. Since illnesses only developed between early and mid-June, the product is believed to have expired and is no longer on the market.
In the U.S., Cyclospora outbreaks have predominantly been linked to imported fresh produce, including raspberries, basil, snow peas and mesclun lettuce.
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