In this image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a photomicrograph of a fresh stool sample, which had been prepared using a 10% formalin solution, and stained with modified acid-fast stain, reveals the presence of four Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in the field of view. Iowa and Nebraska health officials said Tuesday, July 30, 2013, that a prepackaged salad mix is the source of a cyclospora outbreak that sickened more than 178 people in both states. Cyclospora is a rare parasite that causes a lengthy gastrointestinal illness. (AP Photo/Centerd for Disease Control and Prevention)

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) - Health officials are reporting a multi-state outbreak of cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness that surfaced in Champaign County. 

According to the Champaign County Public Health District, cyclosporiasis is caused by a microscopic Cyclospora parasite. It is believed to be linked to packaged garden salad from Fresh Express. 

There are six cyclosporiasis cases in Champaign County as of Wednesday. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a person can identify recalled products by looking for the Product Code, which can be found in the upper right-hand corner of a package. Products marked with a "Z" at the beginning and the number "178" or lower after it are under recall. 

More information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be found here. The Fresh Express recall page also has details.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said symptoms of cyclosporiasis include the following: 

  • Frequent bouts of watery diarrhea (the most common symptom)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Cramping, bloating, and/or increased gas
  • Nausea (vomiting is less common)
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever

Anyone who thinks they might have been infected with Cyclospora should contact their physician. Special kinds of laboratory techniques that are not routinely used are needed to identify the parasite in stool, and because of this, officials said a person's physician should specifically request Cyclospora testing. 

More than one stool sample might be needed. 

If untreated, an infection and symptoms can last for months. Officials said a person who becomes sick from cyclosporiasis isn't treated, symptoms can last from several weeks to a month or longer.

Some symptoms, including diarrhea, can return. Symptoms such as fatigue can continue after gastrointestinal symptoms have gone away. 

A treatment is available, but officials said it is a sulfa-based drug that some people are allergic to. 

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