Cyclosporiasis, the infection of Cyclospora, is rare in the U.S., so when the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) found six cases from June 28th to July 3rd (after experiencing only ten cases prior to 2013) the state issued an alert that there was a possible outbreak. As of this morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the most recent total of illnesses has reached 504 confirmed cases across 16 states and New York City*. (Check CDC’s website for the most up-to-date numbers).Thanks to the heroic efforts of laboratorians and epidemiologists at IDPH from the start of the outbreak, the source of the illnesses has been identified in Iowa and Nebraska, though investigations continue in the remaining 14 states and New York City. Below, you’ll find a list of articles we’ve been reading this week to stay informed on the progress of these investigations.
*The number of states refers to the number of state health departments reporting cases. In this case, there are 16 state health departments plus the New York City health department which reports directly to CDC. New York state is also included as one of the 16 states reporting.
- Mystery Continues in Cyclospora Stomach Bug Outbreak (Aug 6): If you can only read one, yesterday’s piece from ABC News provides excellent background on the outbreak, as well as the steps that led an identification of Taylor Farms bagged salad served at Darden Restaurants (i.e. Olive Garden and Red Lobster) as the source of infection.
- Notes from the Field: Use of Electronic Messaging and the News Media to Increase Case Finding During a Cyclospora Outbreak — Iowa, July 2013 (Aug 2): This week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from CDC will appeal to those of you looking for more technical information on the outbreak, as well as on Cyclospora in general.
- Some food safety experts worry salad not outbreak culprit (Aug 1): When there is something wrong with our food making us sick, it can often feel as though information that allows us to protect ourselves cannot come out quickly enough. This piece from USA Today explains of the complications with identifying foodborne outbreak sources.
- Cyclospora Outbreak Hits 480 (Aug 6): Food Safety News is an excellent source for obtaining updated outbreak information, and this brief article from Tuesday contains helpful case counts and links to CDC updates.