New Jersey Cyclospora Lawsuit: Mexican Basil Cyclospora Outbreak Continues to Grow in Numbers.
The multistate cyclospora outbreak continues to grow in numbers as more cases are reported of people contracting cyclospora from eating Mexican imported basil.
New Jersey is not except from this cyclospora outbreak, on July 25th the number of reported New Jersey cyclospora cases had already reached 69 people, with 4 people needing hospitalization. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) began to receive reports of people infected with cyclospora around May 1st, 2019. According to the NJDOH of the reported cases none had history of international travel during the 14‐day period before illness onset. The New Jersey cyclospora cases were reported from 14 different counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that their analysis of epidemiologic information indicated that contaminated fresh basil imported from Mexico was the likely cause of the increased number of reported New Jersey cyclospora cases. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) trace back investigation the fresh basil was exported to the United States by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico.
Cyclospora is endemic to Papua New Guinea, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and other Latin America countries. It is not endemic to the United States or Canada but because of the strong growth of imported foods, many from Mexico and Central America, it has become a common source of pathogenic outbreak in the Unites States. According to the CDC identification of the microscopic parasite requires special laboratory tests that are not routinely done when stool is tested for parasites because of this healthcare professionals need to specifically arrange testing for Cyclospora, a Cyclospora screen. Testing can be performed via ova and parasite examination, using molecular approaches, or via a gastrointestinal pathogen panel evaluation.
To mitigate the number of people affected by the outbreak the NJDOH has advised consumers to avoid buying, eating, or serving any fresh basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico. It was also noted that if any consumer has basil of unknown origin they should throw it away and clean the area in which it was stored.