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Multistate Outbreak of Cyclospora Connected to Pre-Packaged Vegetable Trays

The CDC and FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora linked with vegetable trays produced by Del Monte Fresh Produce.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections that have been linked with Del Monte pre-packaged vegetable trays.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a single-celled parasite that causes an internal infection called cyclosporiasis. Cyclospora take about 1 to 2 weeks to pass in a bowel movement and become infectious to another individual; this makes transmission from person-to-person unlikely.

As of September 5, 2018, there have been 250 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection reported across 4 states, according to the CDC. Of the 250 who have fallen ill, 8 have required hospitalization, but no deaths have been reported at this time.

The individuals that have been infected with Cyclospora range in age from 13 to 79 years old, with a median age of 45; 52% of the infected population are female. All reported onset of illness occurred on or after May 1, 2018/

During the investigation, health officials interviewed many of the individuals affected by cyclosporiasis. Many of the infected individuals reported consuming Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable trays that contained broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill-dip. Additionally, the majority of those questioned reported purchasing the products at Kwik Trip or Kwik Star convenience stores.

The CDC reported that there is an ongoing investigation to determine if there is a common supplier of the trays to the convenience stores.

According to the FDA, on June 8, 2018, Del Monte Fresh Produce removed the vegetable trays from Kwik Trip and Kwik Star stores and recalled all 6 oz, 12 oz, and 28 oz vegetable trays with a “Best if enjoyed by” date of June 17, 2018.

The most common symptom of cyclosporiasis is watery diarrhea, but other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, cramping, bloating, nausea, fatigue and increased gas. Less common symptoms are vomiting and low-grade fever.

Symptoms typically begin about 7 days following the ingestion of the parasite. If not treated, symptoms can last from a few days to a month or longer. Some symptoms, including diarrhea, can return and fatigue may continue after other symptoms have gone away. However, in some cases, infected individuals do not experience any symptoms.

This outbreak was declared over by the CDC on September 5, 2018.

For the most recent case counts and states affected by the Cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays, be sure to check out the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.

UPDATED on 9/07/2018 at 11:1 AM EDT to reflect recent updates issued by the CDC.

Feature Picture Source: CDC/DPDx / Melanie Moser / CDC Public Health Image Library.