The state Health Department says there are now 71 confirmed cases of the intestinal illness caused by Cyclospora. Thirty of those cases are in Linn County. Officials still have not narrowed down the source of the parasite that causes the illness. Symptoms include diarrhea which can last several weeks, loss of appetite, weight loss, cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever and fatigue.

Health officials suspect the culprit is a parasite in fresh vegetables, but the outbreak has not been linked to any restaurant or grocery chain. To cut your risk, thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption.

State epidemiologist, Patricia Quinlisk, says while the number of reported cases has increased, it’s probably because more people are becoming aware of the illness and seeking treatment.

“Even though they’re being reported now, most of these people became ill in the middle of June. You have to realize that this diarrhea lasts a long time, and once its gotten out in the news and people have heard about this, they’ve been going back to their health care provider, getting tested, and finding out they have this. We have not had very many people at all who’ve gotten ill in recent days,” Quinlisk says.

She says the publicity about the cases should help keep cases from continuing to increase. “I also think the number of people out there are hearing the message about washing their fruits and vegetables which also reduces the risk of somebody getting ill from this,” according to Dr. Quinlisk.

Here’s a list of the number of confirmed cases in each county as of today:

Linn County – 30 cases
Polk County – 5 cases
Fayette County – 3 cases
O’Brien County – 3 cases
Dallas County – 3 cases
Buchanan – 3 cases
Black Hawk County – 3 cases
Webster County – 3 cases
Mills County – 2 cases
Des Moines County – 2 cases
Boone County – 3 cases
Benton County – 1 case
Keokuk – 1 case
Monona – 1 case
Butler – 1 case
Winneshiek – 1 case
Johnson County – 1 case
Pottawattamie County – 1 case
Van Buren County – 1 case
Story County – 1 case
Cedar County – 1 case
Woodbury County – 1 case