Iowa health officials looking into rise in parasitic illness

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa health officials are investigating an increase in people becoming sick from the parasite Clycospora.

The Iowa Department of Public Health issued a news release Thursday saying the illnesses appear to be connected to consumption of salads from McDonald’s restaurants. The department says the Illinois Department of Public Health has noted a similar increase in cases.

The Iowa department says it has identified 15 Iowa residents who ate McDonald’s salads in late June to early July prior to getting ill.

The department says McDonald’s is also investigating and has been fully cooperating with health officials.

Cyclospora is a parasite commonly found in developing countries. The intestinal illness is caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the microscopic parasite. The main symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months.

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