Bethany Bump of the Times Union writes that New York state and local health departments are investigating an outbreak of cyclosporiasis in the Capital Region.
The gastrointestinal illness, which can spread through contaminated food and water, has been confirmed in 11 people so far.
Symptoms began around mid-June, and several of the patients reported eating at the Italian American Community Center in Albany, Prime Life Restaurant at the Beltrone Senior Living Community Center in Colonie, and a private buffet held at Union College in Schenectady, state health officials said.
While cyclosporiasis is endemic in some areas of the world, outbreaks in the U.S. are often associated with imported fresh produce that have been contaminated with a fecal parasite known as Cyclospora cayetanensis.
State health officials say there is no indication that the parasite was spread by poor food handling or preparation at local establishments, which are cooperating with the investigation. Instead, contamination often occurs prior to arrival at food distribution centers and restaurants, they said, and is not easily removed by standard rinsing.
Additional dining establishments may be identified as the investigation continues, they added.