Parasitic Stomach Infection Cases Reported in Iowa

Cyclospora Parasite

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KIMT NEWS 3 – Iowa health officials have identified more than 20 cases of a nasty stomach bug in the state. But this particular infection is much different from your average stomach flu.

This stomach infection is actually caused by the Cyclospora parasite and it’s causing health officials some concern. It’s a bug that’s been seen before, but not for a very long time.

The parasite is associated with eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.

Symptoms can take about a week to develop after being infected, they seem very similar to the regular stomach flu with abdominal pain, achiness and diarrhea, but the difference is these symptoms can last for weeks.

Medical experts are warning folks to be extra vigilant when washing those fruits and vegetables, but not to panic. If you do happen to catch the bug, treatment is very easy and effective

Hancock County Health System Physicians Assistant, Lissa Holloway said, “Once you go through the process of finding this organism, treatment is very easy, you know. It’s an antibiotic taken twice a day for 7 days, it’s just a matter of finding this organism. Again this is a parasite that’s been around for years but not something that we really see.”

Holloway says it’s also important to wash pre-packaged lettuce, even if it says it’s already been washed.

The best way is to use some force when washing, because the parasites like to cling to all those little dents and cracks in produce.

So far there have been reported cases in 9 Iowa counties, the closest being Webster County with two cases.

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