Although the most recent confirmed illness onset date was July 26, the CDC waited until Monday to declare the end to a cyclosporiasis outbreak traced to basil from Mexico.
The tally of laboratory-confirmed patients stands at 241, with sick people spread across 11 states. Six were so ill they had to be admitted to hospitals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is unlikely that additional outbreak victims will be identified moving forward.
“In this fresh basil-associated cluster (of illnesses), there were several situations in which people reported eating at the same restaurants,” the CDC reported.
The cyclospora parasite that results in cyclosporiasis is often found on fresh produce that is generally consumed raw. Cilantro from Mexico routinely causes outbreaks from the parasite during the warmer months in the United States.
Working with the Food and Drug Administration, investigators at the CDC traced the parasitic outbreak to fresh basil from Siga Logistics de RL de CV of Morelos, Mexico. The company issued a recall on July 24. Illness onset dates ranged from June 10 through July 26. Ill people ranged in age from 15 to 98 years old. About 70 percent were female
Although confirmed patients are from 11 states, several of the victims were not exposed to the implicated basil in their home states. The CDC reported the exposure occurred in Florida, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.
“The Massachusetts and Connecticut case-patients were exposed in New York State; the Iowa, Rhode Island, and two Wisconsin case-patients were exposed in Minnesota; and the Georgia, South Carolina, one Wisconsin and two Minnesota case-patients were exposed in Florida,” according to the outbreak update.
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