ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — More than 200 people have been sickened across the country amid an outbreak of intestinal illnesses linked to fresh basil from Mexico, federal officials say.

People are asked not to buy, eat or serve any fresh basil imported to the U.S. from Siga Logistics de RL de CV, which is located in Morelos, Mexico, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The basil in question is connected to an outbreak of Cyclospora illnesses. At least 11 states have reported at least 205 cases, including Florida, plus five states have reported exposures involving restaurants. Five people have been hospitalized.

Cyclospora is a type of parasite transmitted from infected feces to food or water, the FDA says. The time from becoming infected to getting sick is usually about one week.

"Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite that is so small it can only be seen under a microscope," according to the FDA. "When people eat food or drink water that’s contaminated with Cyclospora, they can get an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis."

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Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, stomach cramps and more. They could last up to a month if not treated.

Those who cannot determine whether some basil in question is from Siga Logistics de RL de CV, the FDA advises any basil from Mexico then be thrown away.

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