Health officials in the U.S. are investigating an outbreak of Cyclospora parasite infections that are potentially linked to fresh basil imported from Mexico by Siga Logistics de RL de CV.

Since June 2019, a total of 132 people were infected with Cyclospora after eating basil at restaurants in Florida, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio, including 4 people who were hospitalized.

The 11 states with illness include Connecticut (1), Florida (22), Georgia (2), Iowa (2), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (29), New York (69), Ohio (3), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (1), and Wisconsin (1).

Evidence strongly suggests that contaminated fresh basil is the likely source of this outbreak, according to the FDA outbreak investigation.

The FDA is working with Siga Logistics to facilitate a recall of the basil. The agency has also increased import screening of basil and will continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak.

Consumers are warned not to buy, eat, or serve any fresh basil imported from Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico.

Furthermore, do not eat or serve uncooked items like pesto or salad that may include fresh basil from Mexico unless there is certainty that the fresh basil was not exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV.

If consumers are not able to determine the source of the basil, the FDA recommends it be avoided.

Infections with the Cyclospora parasite cause a gastrointestinal illness with frequent bouts of watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and fatigue.

These symptoms can appear 1-2 weeks after a person ingests the parasite, and last for several months if the parasite is not treated. Infections are not generally transmitted from person-to-person.

Source: Outbreak of Cyclospora Infections Linked to Fresh Basil from Siga Logistics de RL de CV of Morelos, Mexico

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