CDC Report: Hundreds Ill From Parasite In McD Salads

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Hundreds report possible illness after eating at OH restaurant; Lawsuit filedAt least 16 people have been hospitalized due to the Cyclospora parasite, which causes intestinal illness. After reports of intestinal illnesses surfaced, the fast-food chain in July halted salad sales at 3,000 franchises and switched its supplier.

Infected people shed unsporulated (non-infective; immature) Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in their stool; immature oocysts usually require at least 1-2 weeks under favorable laboratory conditions to sporulate and become infective.

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They include diarrhea and frequent, sometimes explosive bowel movements, according to the CDC. The company supplied McDonald's in the Midwest with bags of mixed lettuce that had been tainted with cyclospora. Vomiting, headache, fever, body aches and flu-like symptoms can also occur. Symptoms can last from several days for up to a month.

"Epidemiologic evidence indicates that salads purchased from McDonald's restaurants are one likely source of these infections".

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The FDA said the investigation into the outbreak is ongoing, and that the agency "is now reviewing distribution and supplier information for romaine and carrots". In July, McDonald's said it had removed the mix from impacted restaurants.

In a statement, Fresh Express said it issued a "precautionary recall" on July 27th. "Fresh Express also reported that no romaine lettuce from the lot that was positive for cyclospora was packaged for direct retail sale to consumers", the CDC said.

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