CDC, public health and regulatory officials in 11 states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigated a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections.
As of September 27, 2019, a total of 241 people with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections associated with this outbreak were reported from 11 states: Connecticut (1), Florida (62), Georgia (2), Iowa (2), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (33), New York (131), Ohio (3), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (1), and Wisconsin (4). Exposures were reported in 5 states (Florida, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin).
Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 10, 2019 to July 26, 2019. Ill people ranged in age from 15 to 98 years with a median age of 49 and 70% were female. Six (2%) people were hospitalized. No deaths attributed to Cyclospora were reported in this outbreak.
Epidemiologic evidence and product distribution information indicated that fresh basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV of Morelos, Mexico, was a likely source of this outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the 2 weeks before they became ill. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. Investigating illness clusters provides critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there. In this fresh basil-associated cluster, there were several situations in which people reported eating at the same restaurants.
The FDA and regulatory officials in several states collected records to determine the source of the fresh basil that ill people ate in the five affected states. Product distribution information indicated that the fresh basil that made people sick was exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV of Morelos, Mexico.