Megan Provost ate a salad at Olive Garden six days before the onset of what she called the worst stomach bug of her life.
"I felt like somebody socked me in the stomach," Provost, a 29-year-old banker, said. "I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy."
After learning about the multi-state cyclospora outbreak tied to Olive Garden in Nebraska and Iowa, she said she's "100 percent sure" that she had the illness caused by a one-celled parasite and spread through contaminated food. Cyclospora has sickened 425 people in 16 states so far.
But Provost is in Kansas, where investigators have reported only one case of the stomach bug that originated within the state, and officials don't believe it's associated with the outbreak. Provost is still awaiting test results to confirm her cyclospora infection with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so she is not included in the state's three reported cases, two of which originated in Iowa and Nebraska.
"It is possible that the ... case in Kansas is a sporadic case that was detected because of increased awareness of cyclospora among the public and health care providers," said Kansas state epidemiologist D. Charles Hunt. "But it is not possible to determine a potential source with just one case."