State health departments in Iowa and Nebraska are tracking an outbreak of cyclosporiasis. There are 35 cases confirmed in Nebraska and 71 in Iowa, including 30 cases just in Linn County. Prior to this, Iowa only had ten cases in the past 20 years. Symptoms include diarrhea which can last several weeks, even as long as two months. Other symptoms include: loss of appetite, weight loss, cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever and fatigue. Health officials suspect the culprit is a parasite in fresh vegetables, but the outbreak has not been linked to any restaurant or grocery chain. State epidemiologist, Patricia Quinlisk, says while the number of reported cases has increased, it’s probably because more people are becoming aware of the illness and seeking treatment.
She says the publicity about the cases should help keep cases from continuing to increase.
She expects the number of cases to decrease as more people get treatment and follow the proper procedures for washing to avoid catching the parasite in the first place.