Florida Health Officials Say Cyclospora Still a Concern
The Florida Department of Health says cyclospora is a still a concern and that people should remain diligent about washing their produce. Bagged salad is suspected to be the source of cyclospora outbreaks in Iowa and Nebraska, but cases of the stomach bug in Florida still aren't revealing any clues to what's making people sick here.
[Health officials say produce needs to be washed thoroughly]
There are now 25 cases of cyclospora in Florida, up from 24 earlier this week. The cases are spread out over the state, and so far the Florida Department of Health can’t connect the victims through restaurants or their produce choices. Tracking down the source of the current cyclospora outbreak is tricky- because victims have to try to remember what they ate as much as six weeks ago. Department of Health Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Carina Blackmore says any produce the victims ate would be off the shelves by now, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear.
“And it is certainly possible that another batch of product, whatever it is, that comes from the same fields could potentially also harbor the parasite,” says Blackmore.
Cyclospora is a parasitic infection that causes diarrhea that can last for months. It’s associated with produce or water that’s been contaminated with fecal matter. Nationwide, there are nearly 400 of cyclospora being reported in 16 states. Dr. Blackmore says your best protection is to eat locally grown produce and to make sure it’s washed thoroughly.