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July 27, 2013

23 cases of intestinal illness investigated

Florida health officials say they’re investigating 23 cases of a stomach bug that has infected more than 320 people in 14 states and New York City.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most of the cyclospora infections occurred from mid-June to early July. It’s not clear whether the cases are all linked.

Cyclospora causes diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms. The illness spreads when people ingest foods or water contaminated with feces. Previous outbreaks of cyclospora infections have been linked to various types of fresh vegetables and berries, Florida health officials said.

None of the patients in Florida have been hospitalized. The state’s Department of Health said Friday that none of the Florida cases have a restaurant, food or social gathering in common.

“Epidemiologists across Florida, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are working to identify the source of these cyclospora cases,” said Dr. Carina Blackmore, Florida’s interim state epidemiologist. “Staff are re-interviewing those affected to carefully examine food items and the ingredients those patients were exposed to.”

According to the CDC, 138 cyclospora infections have been reported in Iowa, 70 have been reported in Nebraska and 71 have been reported in Texas. Infections also have been reported in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York City.

 

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