State health officials continue to investigate a gastrointestinal illness outbreak caused by a rare parasite called Cyclospora.
There are currently 53 cases statewide concentrated mostly in the eastern part of the state. Three people have been hospitalized and were released. 35 of those cases have been reported in Douglas County.
DHHS and local health department officials conducted interviews with Nebraskans who contracted the illness. Based on those interviews, vegetables appear to be the cause of the outbreak. Locally grown produce is not part of this outbreak.
Interviews also show people’s symptoms started no later than the end of June which suggests the contaminated food source may have worked its way through the system since fresh produce has a limited shelf life.
Symptoms of Cyclospora include diarrhea that can last weeks to months, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, intestinal gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and low-grade fever.
People experiencing symptoms should see a physician for diagnosis and treatment.