Food-borne illness reported in Lake County
The report of a case of a food-borne illness in Lake County is a reminder to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them, according to public health officials.
Four Illinois cases of cyclosporiasis, caused by a parasite, have been documented by lab tests between mid-June and early July. A Lake County resident has contracted the illness, though officials won’t say where in the county it occurred. Iowa has seen 150 cases of the illness, and Texas has seen 100 in the past several months, said Sabrina Miller, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The illness can be treated with antibiotics and is rarely life-threatening, said Dr. Lance Peterson, director of microbiology and infectious diseases research at NorthShore University HealthSystem.
“The outbreak seems to be related to prepackaged bag lettuce,” he said. “People who are eating fresh vegetables need to be cautious.” He added consumers should ask restaurants where they are dining if the fresh vegetables are being washed.
It can take a week to get sick after being infected with the parasite, said Dr. Peterson. Symptoms include feeling bloated and then having bad diarrhea that can go on for a week to a month. “You can lose a lot of weight and get dehydrated,” he said.
Both Dr. Peterson and Miller say those experiencing these symptoms should contact a health care official immediately.
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