July 13, 2018 12:15 pm
Updated: July 13, 2018 12:20 pm

McDonald’s salads suspected in U.S. outbreak of parasite illness

WATCH: McDonald’s salads linked to foodborne illness

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McDonald’s salads are the suspected culprit of a parasite outbreak in the U.S.

The departments of public health in Illinois and Iowa both announced Thursday that an investigation into the outbreak is underway.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Cyclospora

Illinois has had 90 cases of cyclospora parasite intestinal illness in the past two months, while Iowa has had 15 reports.

The illnesses are not concentrated in a specific part of Illinois, but spread across several counties, state public health officials said.

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“The initial investigation indicates a link to consumption of McDonald’s salads produced for McDonald’s restaurants,” a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health read.

It added that anyone who developed diarrhea and fatigue after consuming a McDonald’s salad should contact a health official immediately.

READ MORE: Ontario man says eBay shut down sale of 6-year-old McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries

A press release from the Iowa Department of Public Health added that McDonald’s is working with health officials in their investigation.

In an email to Global News, McDonald’s Canada said it is not affected by the issue.

WATCH: More information on cyclospora 

Cyclosporiasis causes, symptoms and cures

Cyclosporiasis is spread through eating or drinking products that contain the parasite cyclospora.

Cyclospora has been found in Canada and is typically linked to imported food, Health Canada explains on its website. Some examples of food include basil, cilantro, certain berries, mesclun lettuce and pre-packaged salad mixes.

READ MORE: Canadians aren’t cooking frozen breaded chicken properly — and it’s causing illnesses

The most common symptom of cyclosporiasis is watery diarrhea, some other ones include bloating and gas, fatigue, stomach cramps, weight loss, mild fevers and nausea.

Those who have the illness need prescription medicine to recover, according to the public health agency, and should start feeling better about two to three days after treatment begins.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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