The agency is working with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and other health authorities to determine the cause and scope of the problem.
There have been 2 outbreak clusters to date:
- In February 2004, approximately 57 individuals in Wheaton, Illiois, were reported sick after consuming food containing basil and mesculin prepared by a restaurant. Of these, 20 cases have been confirmed by laboratory testing to have been cyclosoriasis.
- Also in February, 38 people from Irving, Texas, were reported ill after eating basil and mesculin mix at a local restaurant. Of these, 16 case were confirmed as cyclosporiasis.
Cyclosporiasis is caused by the ingestion of the Cyclospora parasite. It results in the infection of the small intestine.
|Symptoms develop about a week after consuming the contaminated food.|
Cyclosporiasis causes watery diarrhea with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, substantial weight loss, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, low-grade fever and fatigue.
Symptoms usually develop about a week after consuming the contaminated food.
Cyclospora infection can be successfully treated with appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Individuals experiencing these symptoms after consuming raw basil and mesculin salad products are advised to consult their physicians and notify their local health departments.