UPDATE: Cyclospora Spreads Nationwide; 138 Cases in Iowa
SIOUX CITY, IA —
Cases of the nasty intestinal illness known as Cyclospora continue to grow in Siouxland and across the nation.
Puzzled health officials believe the multi-state outbreak is linked to undetermined, contaminated food products.
About a week ago, there were 102 reported cases of Cyclospora just in Iowa.
Now there are 138 in Iowa, 6 of them in Woodbury County, 70 in Nebraska and 275 across the nation.
The FDA said, "The cause has not yet been identified. The investigation into this outbreak continues, in order to identify possible sources of the outbreak."
Getting sick from Cyclospora is no fun.
It can lead to fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and even worse, weeks of diarrhea.
Throughout the past several weeks the CDC has begun its investigations with public health officials and the FDA to learn the root of the outbreak and why it continues to spread nationwide.
The problem is health officials can't determine the exact source, just similar patterns.
"We definitely know that it looks to be a vegetable source and, you know, but exactly where- where that began we don't really quit know that quite yet," said Siouxland District Health Deputy Director Tyler Brock.
One food safety attorney said that's not enough and not all states are taking the steps needed to protect people.
"Cyclospora is not reportable in all states. It's in about half the states. So, you know, in many respects there are some states where we're completely blind that there might be cases there that we don't know about. And, if you don't know about it, you can't investigate it," said Bill Marler, nationwide food poison lawyer.
Without this information, Marler said it'll be difficult for health authorities to prevent the outbreak from spreading and becoming a public threat.
Meanwhile, Siouxland health officials believe the outbreak has run its course in the region.
They say most local Cyclospora cases probably developed before July 1st.
But,continue to wash produce thoroughly and if you feel symptoms check with your doctor.