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Parasitic Illness Linked to McDonald’s Salads Leave 436 Sick, 20 Hospitalized

Dang, salad. Back at it again with the illness.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  reports that 436 people have been diagnosed with a laboratory-confirmed illness linked to salads sold at McDonald’s.

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a statement confirming 395 illnesses, and the number increased to 436 this week. The cyclospora infection is part of an ongoing outbreak that began in May.

“Epidemiologic evidence indicates that salads purchased from McDonald’s restaurants are one likely source of these infections,” the CDC wrote in their August 9 update. “The investigation is ongoing, and FDA is working to determine the sources of the ingredients that were in common to the salads served at McDonald’s.”

There are at least 20 people that have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The illness has been reported in 15 states: Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. However, the CDC notes that the patients in the Connecticut, Tennessee, and Virginia cases purchased salads while traveling in Illinois, and the Florida patient purchased a salad while traveling in Kentucky.

The cyclospora parasite causes intestinal illness in people who consume infected food or water, and symptoms can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite. Symptoms include diarrhea and frequent bowel movements, as well as loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, gas, and fatigue.

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Arianna is College Media Network's Weekend Editor and a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work.

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