Iowa now has 71 cases of intestinal illness

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The number of Iowans sickened by a food-borne intestinal illness continues to increase. The Iowa Department of Public Health says 71 cases of cyclosporiasis (sy-kloh-spor-EYE’-uh-sis) have now been confirmed.

Linn County in eastern Iowa continues to lead the state with 27 cases. Polk County has four and 17 other counties have at least one.

Three people have been hospitalized.

Public health officials say the illness is rare in Iowa with an average of just two cases a year.

The illness comes from eating food or drinking water contaminated with human or animal feces containing the cyclospora parasite.

Officials suspect a contaminated vegetable is the cause but have not yet isolated an exact distributor or grower.

The illness causes diarrhea lasting an average of 57 days if untreated with antibiotics.

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