Cyclospora Spreading in Douglas County; 18 Cases Confirmed - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Cyclospora Spreading in Douglas County; 18 Cases Confirmed

OMAHA (KPTM)- A parasite that leaves people with some nasty symptoms for weeks has been spreading through Douglas County.

The Douglas County Health Department has confirmed 18 cases of Cyclospora, that's up seven cases from Tuesday. There are around two dozen cases confirmed in Nebraska, including one in Sarpy County. Tests are pending on a second case there.

Iowa is up to 39 cases. The majority are in Linn County near Cedar Rapids.

There have also been cases reported in Pottawattamie County and Mills County.

The Iowa Department of Health said most people got sick in mid to late June. Many of them are still suffering a number of symptoms including diarrhea, weight loss, fever and muscle aches.

Experts say people usually get the parasite by eating food that has been contaminated with human feces. They're still trying to figure out the exact cause for this outbreak, but they think it could be coming from produce grown outside of the United States.

Local gardeners are taking action.

 “We're putting up signs which will explain what is happening. I mean the number of cases is alarming," Kurt Goetzinger said.

Goetzinger is on a mission to make sure fruits and veggies grown in the Benson community garden stay parasite free.

“We're putting these (flyers) out not so much to alarm people but to let gardeners know there is a problem that we've seen in Omaha."

Washing your produce off may not be enough. That is why Goetzinger said people should know where their produce has been and shop closer to home.

 

Health officials say you should scrub your produce with a brush or paper towel after while washing it.

The last known case of Cyclopsora in Douglas County was in 2008.

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