The Illinois and Iowa health departments are investigating outbreaks of a parasite that causes intestinal illness and might be linked to McDonald’s salads, both states said Thursday. . .
The cyclospora parasite causes intestinal illness as a result of consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite. They include diarrhea and frequent, sometimes explosive bowel movements, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are infected might also experience loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, gas and fatigue. Vomiting, headache, fever, body aches and flu-like symptoms can also occur. . .
“The initial investigation indicates a link to consumption of McDonald’s salads produced for McDonald’s restaurants. Approximately one-fourth of Illinois cases reported eating salads from McDonald’s in the days before they became ill,” the health department said in a statement. The agency is asking that anyone who has eaten a McDonald’s salad since mid-May and experienced diarrhea and fatigue to contact a health care provider to be tested and receive treatment.
Iowa health officials are asking the same of anyone who has developed symptoms after consuming one of these salads since the middle of June. “This summer there have been several clusters of Cyclospora illness associated with various foods that are commercially available,” a statement from the Iowa Department of Public Health said. (Read more from “Parasite Linked to Salad From This Fast Food Chain” HERE)