Cyclospora Mystery Deepens: Law May Prevent Final Answers

Aug 02, 2013 09:51 AM EDT    | Timothy Koppe
Cylospora cayetanesis is spread through contaminated water or produce. (Photo : REUTERS/Rick Wilking)


Officials may never know what caused the massive, countrywide outbreak of cyclospora that has sickened nearly 400 people across 16 states thanks to local state law.

397 cases in 16 states, but no one has yet identified the source.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday there are now cases of cyclospora in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York City, New York State, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.

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Cyclosporiasis is caused by a single-celled parasite and can trigger diarrhea and stomach cramps. Fortunately, the cyclospora parasite cannot be spread from person to person; it has to be ingested via contaminated water or foods such as fruit and vegetables.