436 sick, 20 hospitalized due to parasitic illness linked to McDonald’s salads

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The CDC now says 436 people have been diagnosed with a laboratory-confirmed intestinal illness linked to salads sold at McDonald’s.

The cyclospora infection is part of an ongoing outbreak that began in May.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a statement confirming 395 illnesses. That number increased to 436 this week.

At least 20 people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.

The cyclospora parasite causes intestinal illness in people who consumed contaminated food or water. Symptoms can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite. They include diarrhea and frequent, sometimes explosive bowel movements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are infected might also experience loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, gas, and fatigue. Vomiting, headache, fever, body aches and flu-like symptoms can also occur. – READ MORE

According to CBS News, Trevor Walker described a terrifying experience upon taking a sip of a Diet Coke after a trip to the fast-food restaurant with his three young sons. He later found out a powerful prescription painkiller had been added to his cup.

“I started to feel unusual, I started to sense a lapse in time,” he said.

The increasingly frantic man initially believed he was having a panic attack and texted his wife in an attempt to get some help.

“I am having sensations in my arms and everything is moving slowly,” he wrote in one message at the time. “I’m feeling scared. I don’t know what to do. I’m so scared I’m trying to be calm. I need you.”

He recounted the experience in an interview with KUTV, explaining that the most frightening part of the incident was knowing his 1, 3, and 8-year-old sons were with him. After the incident, he said he often considered the fact that any one of his boys could have taken a sip of his contaminated soda.

“There was this panic that came over me, there was this surge of adrenaline,” he said of the experience. “I didn’t know what to do.”

Walker blacked out but survived the experience and started working to understand what happened to him.

“It was kind of like getting punched in the face without knowing it’s on the way,” he said.

Analysis of his beverage later showed that it contained the potent painkiller buprenorphine. The drug is used to replace opioids and heroin in some cases. – READ MORE

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