JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Late Monday afternoon, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed another case of Cyclospora. ABC 17 News has been following developments since mid-June. At that time, local officials said not to worry even though three surrounding states had experienced cases.
Four people have now gotten sick due to the parasite. The latest case was reported by a doctor in Miller County.
Health officials said they're working with the CDC and other agencies to investigate whether or not the Missouri cases are linked. The CDC has been able to find the source of the outbreak in several states. Some have been linked to salad at restaurants or even pre-mixed bags of salad. On Monday a company in the state of California voluntarily suspended production of a salad mix at a Mexico processing facility that has been linked to the stomach illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska. Right now officials don't know what the source is for any of the Missouri victims.
What officials do know is it can be spread through fruits and vegetables. More than 500 people throughout 17 states have been infected. Nearly 30 have been hospitalized. Missouri officials were unsure if any of the four victims had to be hospitalized.
Officials ask if you experience any gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, severe stomach cramps, or diarrhea to see a doctor quickly. They urge you to take the symptoms seriously.
"It does have severe implications to your appetite, it's a very hard illness to live with because of the severe stomach cramps and the loss of appetite, there could be severe weight loss," Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services spokesman Ryan Hobart said.
Food experts are suggesting everyone wash their produce thoroughly before they eat it.