An outbreak of cyclosporiasis has sickened 212 people in four states since May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said July 6. Seven of those people have been hospitalized.
The outbreak is related to Del Monte vegetable trays with fresh broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots and dill dip. On June 15, a recall of these 6, 12 and 28 ounce trays was issued in transparent plastic containers with a lid containing these items. Trays have a "Better if used before" date of June 17, 2018 and sold to Kwik Trip Stores, Kwik Star, Demond, Sentry, Potash, Meehan, Country Market, FoodMax Supermarket and Peapod in Iowa, Minnesota , Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin have reported diseases.
"The two Michigan cases allegedly purchased the vegetable tray in Wisconsin and therefore Michigan is not affected by this outbreak," said a statement from the US Food and Drug Administration. UU
Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the cyclospora parasite. People become infected by eating food or water contaminated with the parasite. Federal, state and local health officials are working to identify which food in the trays is the culprit and the source of the contamination.
Symptoms of cyclospora include diarrhea and frequent bowel movements, sometimes explosive, according to the CDC. Those who are infected may also experience loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, gas and fatigue. Vomiting, headache, fever, body aches, and flu-like symptoms may also occur.
The disease can last from a few days to a few months and patients may feel better but then get worse again. Patients can be treated with antibiotics.
The first symptoms reported in this outbreak began on May 14 and those who are ill have an age range of 13 to 79 years.
Separately, Texas health officials are investigating 56 reported cases of cyclospora infection since early May.
"DSHS [Department of State Health Services] is working with local health departments throughout the state and health departments in other states that are seeing an outbreak to gather information about the cases and determine if there is a common source for the infections," the agency said in a statement.
Health providers were asked to evaluate any patient with diarrhea lasting more than a few days or those patients with diarrhea who are also experiencing fatigue and loss of appetite "Health care providers should report cases quickly so that public health can investigate them and try to determine the source to avoid future cases, "said the agency and asked people with symptoms to seek medical attention.
Cyclospora generally increases during the hot summer months.
"Avoiding food or water that may have been contaminated with feces is the best way to prevent cyclosporiasis," the CDC advises consumers. With that in mind, the agency recommends washing hands, countertops, dishes and kitchen utensils with hot water and soap. It is also recommended to wash fruits and vegetables under the water jet before eating and cooking them, as with a brush. While it may be difficult to eliminate the microscopic parasite, the heat from the kitchen itself kills it.
Written by Debra Goldschmidt for CNN.
& © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner company. All rights reserved.