At least 418 people in 16 states are now known to have been sickened with cyclospora infections between mid-June and mid-July, according to updated numbers from state health departments as of the end of the day Thursday.
This latest case count marks a 40-case jump from the 378 illnesses reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday.
While health officials have determined that the 146 cases in Iowa and the 81 in Nebraska are part of the same outbreak — which is thought to be linked to bagged salad mix — investigators in the 14 other affected states have yet to determine whether cyclospora illnesses reported to their health departments during the same time period are part of that outbreak.
The latest total case count of 418 includes the 397 cases reported by CDC in an update Thursday, along with an additional 19 cases in Texas — reported to Food Safety News Thursday by a representative from the Texas Department of State Health Services, one additional case in Georgia that was counted by the Georgia Department of Public Health Thursday, according to a GDPH spokesperson, and one more case reported by Iowa Thursday.
Christine Mann of the Texas DSHS told Food Safety News that the majority of cases still being reported in that state are coming from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and that the most recent illness onset was in mid-July.
“We haven’t found a common source of exposure in this outbreak but we’re still investigating and looking at all of our leads,” said Mann.
The situation in Texas is echoed in the other states whose illnesses haven’t been linked to the outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska. Health officials in these states have to determine whether their cyclospora illnesses are linked to other cases within the same state, and then, if so, whether the cases could be part of the larger outbreak in the Midwest.
Nancy Nydam of the Georgia DPH said the number of cases in Georgia still isn’t above the state’s yearly average of approximately 10 cases.
“[The four cases] fall within the parameters and the time range, but annually we see 10 cases a year. “We’re only at four, so we’re not close to getting crazy about this because it falls within our normal range,” Nydem said.
Florida, which has the fourth-highest number of cyclospora cases reported in the mid-June-July period — behind Iowa, Texas and Nebraska — said its number of illnesses remained at 25 as of the end of the day Thursday.
The current counts of illnesses by state are as follows: Iowa (146), Texas (132), Nebraska (81), Florida (25), Wisconsin (9), Illinois (4), New York (6), Georgia (4), Kansas (2), Louisiana(2), Missouri (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (1), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (1) and Ohio (1).© Food Safety News