Intestinal illness linked to McDonald's salads

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ILLINOIS (WAND) – Cases of an intestinal illness in Illinois are linked to McDonald’s salads, health leaders report.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says the state has seen 90 cases of an illness called cyclosporiasis. The first reports came when people became sick in the middle of May 2018. IDPH says a fourth of the people affected in the state said they ate a McDonald's salad in the days before becoming sick. 

Cyclosporiasis is caused by the Cyclospora parasite, which health leaders say can infect people after they consume food that has contamination from feces. Symptoms include frequent watery diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight, cramping, bloating nausea, fatigue and low-grade fever. Health leaders say infected people show symptoms a week after they're exposed and sometimes never. 

IDPH says McDonald’s is working to remove salads it believes are affected from restaurants and distribution centers and then give restaurants salads from different suppliers.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and state health departments are involved in the investigation.

IDPH says the Iowa Department of Health has also seen a rise in cyclosporiasis cases.

Health leaders say the illness is not something that a person can spread to another person. Symptoms can be helped with certain antibiotics. IDPH says untreated cyclosporiasis can last over a month.

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