United States

Increase in Intestinal Illnesses Reported in Maryland

Virginia also seeing uptick in cyclosporiasis

Maryland health officials are reporting an uptick in intestinal illness, joining Virginia in an increase in the reporting of the illnesses in recent weeks.

Of the 42 reports of cyclosporiasis infections in Maryland this year, 37 have come in the past two weeks, the Maryland Department of Health said. No source has been identified.

In Virginia, 39 cases of cyclosporiasis have been confirmed since May 1. The average for the same time span from 2014 to 2018 was nine cases.

Health officials are investigating the cafeterias at the Capital One Building and the Valo Park Building in McLean and a CarMax in Richmond, but a food or water source for the illness has not been discovered.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness causes by a microscopic parasite. People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces or stool that contains the parasite.

Past U.S. foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce.

Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking them to prevent cyclosporiasis, the Virginia Department of Health said in a statement. "Prewashed" fruits don't need to be washed again at home, but firm fruits and vegetables like melons and cucumbers should be scrubbed with a clean produce brush.

Washing hands, cutting away damaged or bruised areas on fruits and vegetables, and refrigerating cut, peeled or cooked produce as soon as possible also will help prevent the disease.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us