Third case of illness linked food borne parasite confirmed in LA - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Third case of illness linked to food borne parasite confirmed in LA


A third case of an intestinal illness caused by a parasite has been confirmed in Louisiana.

According to the Department of Health and Hospitals, the newest case to be reported is in Caddo Parish. The first two cases were confirmed last week in Bienville and Terrebone Parishes.

At least 400 cases of infection with the food borne cyclospora parasite have been reported so far in 16 states and New York City since the outbreak began in June, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Food and Drug Administration said the illnesses in Nebraska and Iowa were caused by contaminated pre-packaged salad supplied by Taylor Farms of Mexico and served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite and those with the illness may have flu-like symptoms, diarrhea and nausea.

The parasite has left 22 people hospitalized with intestinal infections, but according to the Louisiana DHH, none of the cases in Louisiana have resulted in anyone being hospitalized.

LA DHH spokesperson Ken Pastorick says all three cases happened in early July, at about the time of the national outbreak. 2 of them came up with the symptoms after eating lettuce or salad in Texas.

Pastorick says health officials want to continue to encourage people to thoroughly wash their produce before eating it.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. HealthDay News and CNN contributed to this report.

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