Number of victims rises due to food contaminated with human waste
The number of customers falling ill after eating at McDonald’s recently is rising as another 123 people have been infected by traces of human feces in their food this week.
Last week we reported how the outbreak stemmed from the fast food giant’s salads after they were found to be contaminated with fecal matter from restaurants in ten different states.
163 people were reported last week to have infected by a stomach parasite from eating the food, with the number growing by the day.
This week, the total number of laboratory-confirmed illnesses from this outbreak is now 286 across fifteen states, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with at least 11 of the sick individuals requiring hospital treatment.
According to The Food and Drug Administration, it’s not just a mild stomach bug, either.
The FDA has said that the problem is caused by the Cyclospora parasite.
Health officials warn that symptoms may take up to six weeks to subside for those infected by the contaminated food.
WFLA reports: The Cyclospora parasite causes intestinal illness in someone who consumed 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 CDC.
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 illness can last a few days to a few months, and patients might feel better but then get worse again.
Cyclosporiasis can be treated with antibiotics.
The earliest reported illnesses in this outbreak began with symptoms May 20, and the most recent reported cases began June 29.
“Illnesses that started after June 14, 2018, might not have been reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. For Cyclospora infections, this can take up to six weeks,” the CDC said.
Therefore, the number of cases is likely to increase.
Illnesses have been reported in 15 states: Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
However, the patients in Connecticut, Michigan, Tennessee, and Virginia bought their salads in Illinois while traveling, and the Florida patient bought the salad in Kentucky.
The source of the outbreak has yet to be determined.
The US Food and Drug Administration said it “is working with McDonald’s to identify the common ingredients in the salads identified by those who became sick and to trace back those ingredients through the supply chain.”
On July 13, McDonald’s said it was removing its lettuce blend from approximately 3,000 locations in 15 states as a precaution.
On July 20, the company said the blend was replaced with lettuce from a different supplier.
The CDC and the FDA said this outbreak is not connected to an ongoing outbreak of Cyclosporiasis caused by Del Monte Fresh vegetable trays in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.