The FDA is investigating two Cyclospora outbreaks with undisclosed sources. Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was investigating a Cyclospora outbreak that had sickened 51 people. Today, the agency said that that outbreak now includes 60 cases and that it has opened a new investigation into a second outbreak that has sickened six people has been opened.
Cyclospora is a parasite native to tropical climates. Outbreaks are frequently associated with imported fresh produce and leafy greens such as the 2020 Cyclospora outbreak linked to Fresh Express salads that sickened 701 people.
Unlike illnesses linked to food contaminated with bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, or Listeria, there is no lab test that can identify the genetic “fingerprint” of the Cyclospora organism that is making people sick. To solve Cyclospora outbreaks, health officials rely on food histories gathered from patients which can lead them to foods commonly purchased by outbreak patients from grocery stores or restaurants.
Once a food is identified as a common exposure for a group of patients, the FDA conducts a “traceback investigation,” tracing back the food from the restaurant or grocery store to the field where it was grown, testing along the way.
The FDA has opened traceback investigations in both outbreaks, and collected and started to test samples in the first outbreak, according to its update today. This means the FDA knows what the suspected source of each of the outbreaks is but hasn’t disclosed this information.
The same thing happened last year. The FDA investigated two Cyclospoara outbreaks which sickened at least 163 people. One of them sickened 37 people, the other sickened 126 people. In the largest outbreak, the FDA did a traceback, sampling and testing, and an on-site investigation but was unable to solve either outbreak.
Symptoms of a Cyclsopora Infection
Symptoms of a Cyclospora infection usually appear within one to 14 days of exposure and can last for months if not treated with antibiotics. They include diarrhea that is often described as explosive and watery, abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue.
Experienced Cyclospora Lawyers
Pritzker Hageman Cyclospora lawyers have represented clients sickened in every major Cyclospora outbreak in the U.S. To request a free consultation about your potential case, please call 1-888-377-8900, text 612-261-0856, or complete the form below.