Nebraska and Iowa Departments of Health have determined that Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurant-associated cases of Cyclospora infection in their states were linked to a salad mix produced by Taylor Farms Mexico.  The states account for 241 ill persons.  The remaining 20 states account for 384 illnesses (some acquired in other states).  Neither these remaining states nor the CDC have as yet identified a source of the Cyclospora infections.

That certainly raises questions in my mind as to the source of all the illnesses.  Does Taylor Farms Mexico salad mix account for all the remaining 384 illnesses?  Does is actually account for the illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska?  It would be interesting to see the case control studies done by the two states – presuming they did them.

Illness onset ranges from June 1, 2011 to July 31, 2013.  Would the salad mix have been in circulation for that long, or does the 2 to 14 day incubation period account for the broad Epi Curve?  Presuming that the source of the contamination is in fact Taylor Farms Mexico, was it cross-contamination in the plant that caused the extended length of illness onset?  Is the source of the Cyclospora a part of the salad mix that has a longer shelf life or was supplied to other manufacturers or restaurants?  Is the source of Cyclospora in all 625 NOT the same product at all, but an environmental contamination that impacted a number of different vegetable products?

I have a lot of questions – that is why with over two dozen clients, I have yet to jump on the Cyclospora lawsuit bandwagon.

According to the CDC this morning, a total of 601 cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported from 22 states and New York City. The number of cases identified in each area is as follows: Texas (250) – Texas Department of Health counts 274 (see below), Iowa (155), Nebraska (86), Florida (31), Wisconsin (16), Illinois (11), Arkansas (10), New York City (7) – up from (5) yesterday, Georgia (5), Missouri (5), Kansas (4), Louisiana (3), New Jersey (3) – up from (2) yesterday, Connecticut (2), Minnesota (2), New York (2), Ohio (2), Virginia (2), California (1), New Hampshire (1), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), and Wyoming (1).

According to the Texas Department of Health, a total of 274 cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported in Texas in 2013 with the vast majority having onsets in June and July. Most Texas cases are reported from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.