PROTFIG24The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada to investigate 92 Canadian cases of Cyclospora infections in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. The source of this outbreak is not yet known, and the Agency and its partners continue to investigate.

The risk to Canadians is low, but people with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are at increased risk for developing complications if they get sick. In Canada and the US, past foodborne outbreaks of Cyclospora have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce.

Cyclospora is a microscopic single-celled parasite that is passed in people’s feces. If it comes in contact with food or water, it can infect the people who consume it. This causes an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis.

Cyclospora is most common in certain tropical and subtropical countries and regions.

In Canada, non-travel related illnesses due to Cyclospora occur more frequently in the spring and summer months. lllnesses among travellers can happen at any time of year.

In Canada, a total of 92 cases have been reported in British Columbia (4), Alberta (1), Ontario (82), and Quebec (5). Two cases have been hospitalized, and are recovered or recovering. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between May 3 and August 5, 2015. To date, no source has been identified. The investigation is ongoing.

Previous foodborne illness outbreaks of Cyclospora, in Canada and US have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce, such as pre-packaged salad mix, basil, cilantro, berries, mesclun lettuce and snow peas.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that it has received 26 reports of illness linked to a relatively uncommon strain of the Salmonella bacteria. The department said Salmonella cases had been confirmed in Allamakee, Black Hawk, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Des Moines, Humboldt, Jasper, Kossuth, Madison, Mahaska, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Scott, Sioux, Story, Union, Webster and Woodbury counties.

Iowa already is investigating an outbreak of food poisoning caused by a rare parasite, Cyclospora, which has sickened at least 138 Iowans in recent weeks.

Also today, the department notified health officials statewide to be on the lookout for Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that also can cause diarrhea. The department said it has recently been notified of 76 confirmed cases of Cryptosporidium infections. The parasite can be spread from person to person, through contaminated food or through recreational water, such as swimming pools.