Critics Question Lack Of Public Information About Cyclospora Outbreak [Video]

With more than 370 cases of cyclospora infections identified in 15 different states, many consumers and critics are concerned about the lack of information that has been made public.

CBS News chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jon LaPook, said “it (cyclospora) can cause severe illness.”

Symptoms of this stomach bug include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, flu-like aches and pains, and a low-grade fever.

The Inquisitr reported yesterday that the cyclospora outbreak could have been caused by a prepackaged salad mix, at least in Iowa and Nebraska.

CBS News added to this saying that the Iowa Department of Public Health has indeed identified an unnamed prepackaged salad mix as the source of 80 percent of the cases in Iowa.

The report did continue on to say that “it is not yet known if all the U.S. cases are connected.”

In a report by Time, “Food safety advocates say they are alarmed by a lack of information being disseminated about the spread” of the cyclospora outbreak.

“Health officials in Nebraska and Iowa say they’ve traced cases there to prepackaged salad, but they haven’t said which brand or where it was sold, explaining only that most if not all of it wasn’t grown locally.”

Mark Hutson,owner of a Save-Mart grocery store in Lincoln, Nebraska, said that the lack of specific brand information threatened to hurt all providers, including the good actors.

“I think there was so little information as to what was causing the problem, that people just weren’t sure what to do,” he said. “Frankly, we would prefer to have the names out there.”

María-Belén Moran, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “It’s too early to say for sure whether it’s over, and thus too early to say there’s no risk of still getting sick.”

Nebraska public health officials are still saying that they can’t track down the exact origins of the outbreaks.

Dr. Joseph Acierno, the state’s chief medical officer and director of public health had the following to say:

“I am by no means giving all-clear, green light on the issue. We’re encouraging the medical community to stay vigilant.”

The Time report continued on to say that food-safety and consumer advocates say the agencies shouldn’t withhold information.

By withholding information, it’s making consumers act very cautiously.

“I can’t say I really want to go and buy particularly any lettuce right now,” said Laura Flanagan, 35, who was shopping at a Whole Foods in Dallas with her two young children. “I’m being pretty cautious about it.”

With the lack of information about cyclospora and about how the outbreak originated, will you, as a consumer, be acting more cautiously when walking through the grocery store?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]