The FDA announced on Friday that a parasitic illness is being investigated in states across the nation.

The FDA and CDC are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Cyclospora infections, a parasite that can cause extreme intestinal distress.  Last week it was identified that two state health departments, Illinois and Iowa, had identified McDonald's salads as potentially be the link to cases in both states.

The FDA is currently working with McDonald's to identify which ingredient is causing the outbreak.

The FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, M.D. stated this:

“It’s early in the investigation, but we are taking steps now to help ensure consumers know about the potentially contaminated product so that they can better protect themselves or seek treatment, especially if they have signs or symptoms of a Cyclospora infection. This is especially important as Cyclospora is not commonly tested for in a health care setting, so consumers who may think they have been exposed should raise their concerns with their health care professional.”

The states identified so far include Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri.

Common symptoms of Cyclospora infection include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue.  Other symptoms include vomiting, body aches, headache, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms.  Those infected may also have no symptoms at all.

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