The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the recent Cyclospora outbreak sickened 546 people from 31 states from May to August. The numbers of reported cases in the U.S. have returned to baseline levels, the agency noted. CDC stated that epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted in Texas, Wisconsin, and Georgia by state and local public health and regulatory officials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicated that some illnesses among residents in these states were linked to fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico. However, the vehicle(s) of infection for non-cluster-associated cases has not been identified, the agency added. Most of these persons — 319 (58 percent) of the total of 546 — experienced onset of illness on or after May 1, 2015, and did not have a history of international travel within 2 weeks before illness onset, CDC stated. These 319 persons were from the following 23 states: Arkansas (3), California (2), Connecticut (5), Florida (13), Georgia (26), Illinois (9), Iowa (1), Kansas (2), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (12), Michigan (2), Missouri (1), Montana (3), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (7), New Mexico (2), New York (excluding NYC) (10), New York City (22), North Carolina (1), Texas (179), Utah (1), Virginia (3), Washington (2), and Wisconsin (11). Illness onset dates ranged from May 1 to Aug. 22, 2015. Ill persons ranged in age from 15 to 89 years, with a median age of 51 years. Fifty-six percent of ill persons were female, CDC stated. Previous U.S. outbreaks of cyclosporiasis (the illness caused by the single-celled parasite) have been linked to imported fresh produce, including cilantro from the Puebla region of Mexico. FDA issued an import alert about the cilantro on Aug. 31, 2015. More information about Cyclospora can be found here.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)