Basil Cyclospora Outbreak Linked to Mexican Basil
The company, Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico, which provides basil widely in the United States, has become the major focus of attention by the FDA in its efforts to uncover the source of a major Basil Cyclospora outbreak. The outbreak, which includes at least 132 victims with 4 requiring hospitalization, is in its infancy. According to one expert, Cyclospora attorney Ron Simon, “this is just the beginning. Most victims are not tested for Cyclospora because it is a tropical parasite. But now that word has gone out, the cases will start to pile up.”
Those who are any type of pesto, a Caprese salad, or just enjoyed Basil, are at risk – the parasite comes on within a day to a week, and stays for months unless treated with a sulfa antibiotic like Bactrim. Traditional antibiotics, says Simon, “do not kill a parasite. And what is worse, a stool culture and a traditional North American ova and parasite screen will also not show Cyclospora.” He is correct, according tote h CDC and medical professionals who have explained that a specific screen for Cyclospora is required, and most states have a couple of labs that can run the test. Even after treatment, a cyclospora screen can detect the oocysts. Sometimes two or three screens are needed, but unlike a bacteria, treatment does not immediately remove the proof of infection.
The Basil Cyclospora Outbreak has spread widely to Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. The company, Siga Logistics de RL de CV, delivers directly Florida, Minnesota, New York and Ohio, but victims who ate at those restaurants returned home to their various states.
The Basil Cyclospora outbreak is likely to have significant legal ramifications in the industry. There will be additional pressure to reform import standards after this, and two previous Cyclospora outbreaks (McDonald’s Cyclospora Outbreak and Del Monte Cyclospora Outbreak) sickened many hundreds last year. A number of cyclospora lawsuits have already been filed, and one of those lawyers, Cyclospora lawyer Ron Simon, says that his clients ate basil in Jacksonville, Florida at the Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant. One of his clients ate a Caprese Salad, while the other had basil served with his meal.
The Basil Cyclospora Outbreak will likely remain in the news for some time as many additional victims, and the restaurants they ate at, are identified.