The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Saturday an investigation into the sudden increase of foodborne illnesses in the state.
Health officials received confirmation of approximately 23 cases of foodborne illnesses that appear to be linked to an outbreak of cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite.
IDPH has seen cases since mid-May, with an initial investigation linked to consumption of store-brand packaged garden salads from Jewel-Osco in the Midwest.
“Although a link has been made to Cyclospora in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “If you consumed store brand packaged garden salads since May and then developed watery diarrhea, please contact a health care provider about testing and treatment.”
Cyclospora cayetanesis is a microscopic parasite infecting the small intestine, commonly caused by consuming food or water condaminated by feces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
An individual will typically notice symptoms of the disease within about one week. The CDC said these symptoms generally include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Stomach cramps and pain
- Bloating and gas
- Body aches
According to the CDC, some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not show any symptoms.
Cyclospora, the parasite that causes cyclosporaisis, cannot be spread from one person to another, the CDC stated.