Cyclosporiasis outbreak up to 610 cases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 610 cases of Cyclospora infection as of Friday in an outbreak spreading through 22 states, the CDC said on Monday.

The CDC said ill individuals range in age from younger than one year to 92 years of age with a median age of 51 years old. Of the 581 ill individuals for whom information is available, 43 of them were hospitalized for their infections. There are no reported deaths from the outbreak.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis, a single-celled parasite. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the outbreak in two states, Iowa and Nebraska, was linked to a salad mix supplied to Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants by Taylor Farms de Mexico, a foodservice salads processor.

As of August 9, Taylor Farms de Mexico voluntarily suspended the shipment of salad mixes and salad mix components from its Mexico operations to the U.S.

It is not clear if the infected persons from all states are part of the same outbreak. Investigations are ongoing to find out whether salad mixes from Taylor Farms de Mexico are to blame for the increase in infections in other states.

Aside from Iowa and Nebraska, the other states infected include Wyoming, Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, Ohio, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Missouri, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kansas, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, California and Arkansas.