State, local officials investigate parasite illness in Michigan


Photo courtesy: Centers for Disease Control

State officials say they’ve confirmed at least eight cases of cyclosporiasis in Michigan, and that there could be more than a dozen others.

Cyclosporiasis is an illness caused by a parasite that health officials say people usually eat or drink in contaminated food or water.

People who get cyclosporiasis often suffer from gastrointestinal diseases including diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, and nausea.

Health officials say they believe the cases started at a restaurant called Taste in South Haven and that the cases could date back to the middle of June. They also say it does not appear the cases were caused by poor food handling and that the restaurant is cooperating with the investigation.

“Cyclospora contamination often occurs prior to the food arriving at food distribution centers and restaurants,” said Tim Slawinski, MDARD’s Food and Dairy Division director in a press release. “This type of contamination is not easily removed by standard produce rinsing.”

Doctors say anyone who has cyclosporiasis should see their own doctor and be treated with antibiotics.

The Centers for Disease Control has more information about the disease on its website.

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