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McDonald's Salad Illnesses Top Out at 511

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Aug. 24, 2018 UPDATE: The FDA says it has zeroed in on companies that supplied romaine lettuce and carrots to McDonald's for salads that are now linked to more than 500 illnesses. The agency says the number of people sickened in the outbreak has reached 507. 

Aug. 14, 2018 UPDATE: The numbers keep climbing. The CDC now says that 436 have become ill from a parasite linked to salads sold at McDonald's. While the cases still come from the same 15 states, the number of hospitalizations have grown to 20 from 11 just three weeks ago. 

Aug. 3, 2018 UPDATE: The CDC has again revised its number of people who have been contaminated from salads at McDonald's to nearly 400. As of noon on Thursday, the number of confirmed cases stands at 394. And the number could go up. The agency says on its website that "Illnesses that began after June 21, 2018 might not have been reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported."

July 26, 2018 UPDATE: The number of people who have fallen ill from contamination tied to salads at fast-food giant McDonald's has grown to 286, the FDA reported Thursday. 

The agency said the cases now spread across 15 states and that 11 people have been hospitalized.

July 20, 2018 UPDATE: The CDC now reports that the number of people sickened has more than doubled. The agency reported late Thursday that there are now 163 confirmed cases in people who reportedly ate a salad from McDonald's. Three people have been hospitalized.

Original post:

July 17, 2018 -- Fast-food giant McDonald’s has stopped selling salads in more than a dozen U.S. states and pulled lettuce blends from about 3,000 restaurants and distribution centers after more than 100 people reportedly got sick from a cyclospora infection.

The move came after the FDA began investigating reports of 61 people in seven states falling ill from an outbreak of cyclosporiasis illnesses. At least two people have been hospitalized, the FDA says.

The intestinal illness is caused when people eat or drink the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, which can contaminate food and water.

The CDC has found 61 laboratory-confirmed cases in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. In each, the affected patient said they ate a salad from McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has stopped selling salads in restaurants in those states, as well as in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky and West Virginia.

The FDA has not identified which ingredient in the salads is causing the outbreak. The agency says it’s tracking distribution and supplier information.

Most people with cyclosporiasis have diarrhea with sometimes explosive bowel movements. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and fatigue. The FDA says to contact a doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days.

Doctors treat cyclospora infections with antibiotics. It is important to drink plenty of fluids if you have diarrhea to avoid dehydration.

WebMD Health News Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on July 17, 2018
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