The Center for Disease Control and Prevention are warning those in the U.S. of a mysterious stomach virus that has infected close to 300 people in seven states.
The states with infected individuals who have reported was seems to all be the same illness are Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut and New Jersey with at least 10 people reportedly having been hospitalized due to the bug. CDC officials are calling it a cyclospora infection, which has symptoms very similar to those seen with the flu but includes stomach cramps, nausea and fatigue and diarrhea. The infection leaves victims with serious gastrointestinal discomfort which can last for weeks.
Although they have been unable to put a finger on exactly where the illness originated from, they do know that cyclospora is typically found in tropical and subtropical countries and passed on through foods and water that are contaminated with feces.
The CDC is investigating the transport of fresh produce that traveled into the U.S as a possible link as they try to solve the 275 cases of this mysterious stomach bug. As of right now, they are unsure if all cases are linked.
The Mayo Clinic lists lettuce, fresh basil, and imported raspberries as the cause of cyclospora outbreaks in the U.S. in the past.
Health authorities are urging citizens to thoroughly wash and clean their produce and even soaking fruits and veggies in warm water and scrubbing them with a firm brush before re-rinsing to remove any loosened particles. Cooking or heating vegetables is the most effective way to kill the cyclspora infection.