Rare stomach illness shows up in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD — Three people in Illinois have been sickened by a rare stomach bug involved in a multi-state outbreak.
Two new cases of cyclosporiasis were reported Friday in Montgomery and Lake counties, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The first person in Illinois to get sick lives in Sangamon County, but had traveled in Iowa, which has the most cases in the U.S., according to IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold.
None of the three Illinois residents has been hospitalized, she said.
Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection that is caused by consuming food or water contaminated by the parasite cyclospora.
The infection causes diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, nausea and other flu-like symptoms.
There were 285 cases in 11 states as of the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Illinois' two additional cases brings the total to 287. At least 18 persons have been hospitalized.
Most illness onset dates have ranged from mid-June through early July, according to the CDC.
Jim Roberts, environmental health director at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said outbreaks in the U.S. are rare; they are typically in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
"We have limited history in the United States," he said.
Since the 1990s, foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to raspberries, basil, snow peas and mesclun lettuce, according to the CDC. No food items have been identified in the current outbreak to date.
Roberts said cooking raw produce may be one form of protection against infection.