Source of US Cyclospora outbreak uncertain

| August 2, 2013

An outbreak of foodborne illness caused by the intestinal protozoan parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis continues to affect people across the USA, but the source of the outbreak is yet to be confirmed.

As of 29 July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation had been notified of 372 cases by 15 state health departments plus New York City. Most became ill between mid-June and early July and some 21 people have been hospitalised.

Investigations by the health departments in Nebraska and Iowa have found a possible link with a salad mix, but CDC says that such a link has not yet been identified in other states. It is not yet clear that all the cases are part of the same outbreak, but the investigation is on going.

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Meanwhile the UK-based Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) has published a new Information Statement on Cyclospora providing information on the biology of the parasite, methods of detection and measures that industry can take to control it in foods.


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