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State and local health officials are investigating an outbreak of an intestinal illness caused by a rare parasite in Iowa. As of Monday, 22 cases of Cyclospora infections were reported in nine counties.
Most of the illnesses began in mid to late June. At least one person has been hospitalized. People who are infected report being ill with diarrhea for long periods of time. Some have had relapses.
People become infected by consuming food or water that is contaminated with the parasite. If left untreated, a person can expect to suffer from diarrhea for an average of 57 days. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, severe fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, increased gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and low-grade fever.
The counties and number of cases confirmed are: Linn County 10, Fayette County 3, O’Brien County 2, Webster County 2, Benton County 1, Des Moines County 1, Mills County 1, Polk County 1, and Van Buren County 1.