Stomach bug creeps into Georgia - CBS46 News

Stomach bug creeps into Georgia

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A stomach bug linked to foodborne illnesses has crept its way into Georgia.

The parasite Cyclospora has sent more than 275 people to the hospital in six states, mostly in the Midwest.

So far, fewer than five cases have been reported in Georgia, none in Metro Atlanta.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, is taking a serious look at the outbreak.

Dr. Barbara Herwaldt, an epidemiologist with the CDC, said the parasite typically is found in tropical regions on food tainted by fecal waste.

"Most of the cases have been associated with international travel or with eating fresh produce items from other parts of the world," Herwaldt said.

The symptoms of the stomach bug are diarrhea, nausea, cramping and other flu-like conditions.

The illness, however, usually is non-fatal in people who otherwise are healthy.

"The good news is this infection is very treatable with commonly available antibiotics," Herwaldt said.

Medical authorities are not sure which foods are to blame this time around, but they said tainted produce was to blame in prior outbreaks.

Some customers at local grocery stores said they will continue to buy produce.

Dana Watts said she's worried about the stomach bug, but she's taking extra care to make sure she doesn't get sick.

"I wash my fruit and vegetables off real good," Watts said.

"I'm not too concerned about it," said Malena Perez. "I wash everything before I eat it."

The CDC is offering the following safety tips:

  • Wash all fruit and vegetables.
  • Wash your hands to reduce the chance of cross contamination.
  • Visit your healthcare professional if you think you have contracted the parasite.

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