On the heels of the McDonalds salad outbreak is another health warning that was issued Monday, this time for salads and wraps sold at Kroger, Trader Jo’s and Walgreens. The cyclospora parasite is once again wreaking havoc in some of our food products.
Question: Let’s take a closer look at cyclospora, what it is and how it affects us.
Well I can tell you that if you get this parasite, it is no picnic. Not at all. Let’s first start with the fancy medical term for a cyclospora infection, it’s called Cyclosporiasis. Now this intestinal infection is caused by a one-cell parasite. You get it when you consume food or water that contains contaminated human feces. You can experience very common symptoms like loss of appetite, stomach cramps, pain, gas, nausea and fatigue. But I’m sorry to say that you can also have some very nasty bowel movements. I’m talking intense diarrhea that can be quite explosive.
Question: The food items were produced between July 15 and 18th, wouldn’t they already have been consumed or we’d be past the time frame when folks might get sick?
Well, the concern is that some folks may still have these items in their fridge. And the cyclospora incubation period can range between 2 days all the way up to 14 days. And then it can take a week or more after the contaminated foods have been eaten before people start to experience symptoms.
Question: How long can you be sick for and are there any complications to watch out for?
This illness can last for a few days, but for some unfortunate folks, you can also have it for a few months. Cyclospora can be tricky. You think you’re getting better and then you can feel worse again. Some people can be hospitalized because they’re dehydrated due to diarrhea, often this is children, older adults and those with serious illnesses. The good news is that Cyclosporiasis can be treated with antibiotics. So if you’re not feeling better within a few days, please see your family doctor.