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UPDATE: Cyclospora Infections Associated With Salad At Fast Food Chain

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is investigating a Cyclospora outbreak that appears to be connected to salads from a fast food restaurant chain.

State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk says they know of more then one dozen cases.

Doctor Quinlisk says they’ve worked with the Illinois Health Department and have been able to find a common link for the disease.

She says you have a watery diarrhea that lasts longer than a normal diarrhea would. Doctor Quinlisk says you may need to take action if you had one of the salads.

Quinlisk says it’s important to identify the disease and take action.

Quinlisk says Cyclospora is the same problem seen recently with vegetable trays. She says it appears to be a problem that starts long before the products are sold.

She says it is not something that McDonald’s is responsible for as they didn’t do anything wrong and they don’t know the vegetables are a problem until people get sick. Doctor Quinlisk says she expects more cases to be identified as people come forward and get tested.

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Original story posted 3:35pm, 7/12/2018

Statewide Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is investigating an increase in Cyclospora infections that appear to be connected to consumption of McDonald’s salads. The Illinois Department of Public Health has noted a similar increase in cases associated with the product.

Iowa Department of Public Health Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, says this summer has seen several clusters of Cyclospora illness associated with various foods that are commercially available. She says just this week IDPH has identified 15 Iowans who ate McDonald’s salads in late June to early July prior to getting ill.  Quinlisk urges anyone who ate these salads since the middle of June and who developed diarrhea, especially watery diarrhea and fatigue, to see their health care provider and get tested for Cyclospora to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Dr. Quinlisk says McDonald’s is concerned about this situation and has been fully cooperating with IDPH, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. McDonald’s and involved federal partners continue to investigate to determine what further steps should be taken.

Quinlisk says Cyclospora is a parasite commonly found in developing countries, but in the past several years, several outbreaks have occurred in the U.S., especially during the summer months. These outbreaks and illnesses often occur as a result of eating contaminated fresh produce. Symptoms of Cyclospora infection include: Frequent watery diarrhea; Loss of appetite and weight; Cramping, bloating and/or increased gas; Nausea (vomiting is less common); Fatigue; and Low-grade fever.

She says it may take a week or more after consuming contaminated product for symptoms to begin.

If you have any of these symptoms, Dr. Quinlisk says you should see your health care provider who can specifically order Cyclospora parasite testing and provide appropriate treatment. IDPH and local health department personnel are continuing to conduct interviews with individuals who test positive for Cyclospora and further cases may be identified.

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