Saturday June 6, 2020

updated - June 6, 2020 Saturday EDT

Stomach Bug Leaves 270 People Sick in 8 States

Jul 25, 2013 12:34 AM EDT | By Staff Reporter

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a parasite has left 269 people from eight states ill since last month, but health officials unsure as to where it originated.

The CDC says the cyclospora infection causing diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms has been reported in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia and Connecticut. The CDC said 10 people have been hospitalized and most of the reported illnesses occurred from mid-June to early July.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is investigate the cyclospora infections, which are most often found in tropical or subtropical countries and have been linked to imported fresh produce in the past.

Officials have yet to formally identify a source for the illnesses, which were reported from mid-June through July.

"Nothing has been implicated yet in a formal sense," Dr. Barbara Herwaldt, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC's division of parasitic diseases and malaria centers, told NBC News. "No food item has been identified as the source of the outbreak."

Cyclospora are not known to thrive in the US - making the possibility that imported produce may be the culprit highly likely, Herwaldt added.

Imported Guatemalan raspberries were blamed for an outbreak that affected 1,500 people in North America in 1996. A year later, similar raspberry-related outbreak affected more than 1,000 people, according to CDC records.

The agency said it is investigating additional illnesses and the number of those sickened could grow.

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