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Food Testing Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 9/25/2019
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Investigation into Recent Rise in Cyclospora Infections Announced by the Maryland Department of Health
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides environmental and food testing services to identify Cyclospora and other microorganisms to help prevent illnesses.

Beltsville, MD, September 25th , 2019

This summer, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced it was investigating an increase in reported Cyclospora infections from multiple jurisdictions across the state. At the time of the July announcement, 37 of the 42 lab-confirmed cases documented between the first of the year and July 20th, had been reported over the prior two weeks.

MDH related the state’s incidence rate with an overall rise in reported cyclosporiasis cases in other parts of the U.S. and announced the agency is working with local, state and federal health officials to investigate the increase. No specific source for the cases in Maryland had been identified by health officials.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis, a parasite composed of one cell. MDH reports that people can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces or stool that contain the parasite. The primary symptom is watery diarrhea that lasts from a few days to several months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. Symptoms may come and go multiple times over a period of weeks or months. Some people who become infected do not have any symptoms.

“When outbreaks of cyclosporiasis occur they are frequently linked to various types of imported fresh produce,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “MDH is advising consumers to follow safe fruit and vegetable handling recommendations, including washing all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking. Scrubbing firm fruits and vegetables, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush and cutting away any damaged or bruised areas before they are prepared and eaten, is recommended by MDH.”

EMSL provides Cyclospora testing which can be a vital tool for pinpointing the source of an outbreak to prevent additional people from becoming sick. EMSL sponsored an educational video about Cyclospora and infection risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/dVFRgmZpTfQ.

To learn more about testing for Cyclospora or other microbial, food and environmental testing services, please visit www.FoodTestingLab.com or www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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