As of late July 2018, 286 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclospora infection from victims in 15 states have been linked to a cyclospora outbreak connected to McDonald’s salads. Although no deaths have been reported in conjunction with this outbreak, at least 11 people have been hospitalized.
Cyclospora is a parasite that causes infections in human hosts. When an individual becomes ill after consuming food or a beverage contaminated with cyclospora and the consumption could have been prevented if another party had taken greater care to prevent it, the victim may be entitled to recover monetary compensation for his or her damages through a food poisoning claim.
How Cyclospora is Spread
Dangerous cyclospora bacteria is spread through contaminated food and water. Person-to-person transmission is unlikely because when the bacteria is passed from a victim’s body through excretion, it is not infectious for about another week.
The number of actual cyclospora victims affected by this outbreak could be higher than the 286 mentioned above. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it takes about six weeks for a patient to receive confirmation that his or her case is part of a larger outbreak. Another reason why the actual number of victims could be higher is that cyclospora infection has many symptoms that are similar to other types of food poisoning and even other types of infection, which can cause patients to mistake their symptoms for symptoms of another condition and fail to report their cases to the CDC.
Cyclospora Infection Symptoms
Cyclospora infection, also known as cyclosporiasis, affects the gastrointestinal system. Symptoms generally appear within a week of the victim becoming infected, and can include:
- Loss of appetite;
- Stomach cramps;
- Abdominal pain; and
- Flu-like symptoms.
Cyclosporiasis is diagnosed through a laboratory test of the patient’s stool sample. When a patient is infected with cyclosporiasis, he or she needs antibiotics to make a full recovery. Victims who experience vomiting and diarrhea are also advised to keep themselves well-hydrated as they recover.
McDonald’s Response to the Outbreak
In response to the reported illnesses, McDonald’s changed its lettuce supplier for more than 3,000 restaurant locations in the 15 states where illnesses were reported. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with McDonald’s to trace specific ingredient that caused the outbreak. Individuals who buy salads from McDonald’s now should have nothing to worry about, says McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook.
Work with an Experienced Palatine Food Poisoning Lawyer
If you or your child experienced food poisoning because of another party’s negligence and suffered financial damages as a result, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for those damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about pursuing a food poisoning claim and to start working on yours, contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Petra Cigale)