Salad May Not Be Only Culprit in Diarrhea Outbreak

The 'epidemiology looks a bit different' says one official
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2013 11:33 AM CDT
A photomicrograph of a fresh stool sample reveals the presence of four Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in the field of view.   (AP Photo/Centerd for Disease Control and Prevention)

(Newser) – The cyclospora outbreak, believe to be linked to prepackaged salad in Iowa and Nebraska, just got a little ickier: Experts say that salad may not be the sole source of the stomach bug, which causes "sometimes explosive diarrhea"and has now sickened a confirmed 397 people across 16 states as of Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indeed, Iowa's state epidemiologist tells USA Today that the "epidemiology looks a bit different" in other affected states. "The people who are getting ill are not necessarily the same as we saw; they're not getting sick at the same time."

The FDA says it "can't speak to an ongoing investigation," though CBS News reports the FDA and CDC are "getting closer" to IDing the source. (CBS points out that even if the salad is to blame, the true root of the illness could be the plant that processed the lettuce, for instance.) Says the VP of a produce trade group, "I think the investigation has a long way to go." If you want a first-hand account of what cyclospora is like, CBS talks to a Texas woman who had diarrhea "for weeks."

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