Rare stomach bug reported in McHenry County
WOODSTOCK – A reported case of a rare stomach bug in McHenry County is the fifth case of the illness in the state.
Health officials confirmed the case of cyclosporiasis Monday and are investigating to determine the source of the infection, Illinois Department of Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said. The person was reported sick to health officials July 21, she said.
In an email to the Northwest Herald, McHenry County Department of Health spokeswoman Debra Quackenbush said the person infected in McHenry County was treated with antibiotics and has recovered.
The cases around the state are in five separate counties, making it difficult to find a culprit. The first case was reported in mid-June, Arnold said.
An outbreak of the same stomach illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska has been linked to salad mix served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants and supplied by a Mexican farm. Recent cyclospora infections have sickened more than 400 people in 16 states.
“We are unable to confirm a link to bagged salad because we have not had any restaurant clusters or grocery store clusters, and our cases do not remember which brand of bagged salad they may have eaten,” Arnold said.
Arnold added it’s important that people thoroughly wash any produce, even bagged items.
“It’s difficult to identify a source when there is only one case in each of the areas,” Arnold said.
In Illinois, none of the people infected has required hospitalization. The four other cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in Montgomery, Jo Daviess, Lake and Sangamon counties.
Illinois health officials believe the Sangamon County patient acquired the infection in Iowa, and they have provided information on that case to Iowa health officials, Arnold said.
The illness is caused by a microscopic parasite. People get sick when they consume contaminated food or water. After exposure, people usually get sick after about a week and have diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms that can last from a few days to a month or longer if untreated. The illness is not generally contagious and can be treated with antibiotics.
• The Associated Press contributed to this report.