December 6, 2019

Florida Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 23

At least 23 people in Florida have Cyclospora infections and may be part of a multi-state outbreak. Cyclospora is a rare parasite and infections are usually associated with travel to tropical and sub-tropical regions. On average, less than 150 cases are diagnosed nationwide each year, but over the last month, more than 362 cases have developed in 15 states.

florida-cyclosporaHealth officials don’t know yet how many of the cases are linked in a multi-state outbreak. Case counts by state are as follows: Iowa (140), Texas (101), Florida (23), Wisconsin (7), New York City* (4), Georgia (3), Illinois* (3) Connecticut (2), Missouri (2), Nebraska (72), Arkansas (1), Kansas *(1), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (1), Ohio (1), (*Notes: One of the Illinois cases was likely exposed while visiting Iowa. The Kansas case was likely exposed while visiting Nebraska. The only cases in New York are in New York City.) Eighteen people have been hospitalized.

Health officials have been unable to identify a specific food source of the outbreak. Imported vegetables are among the suspects, restaurant lettuce has been mentioned by some case patients.

Cyclospora is transmitted when food or water that is contaminated with microscopic amounts of fecal matter from an infected person is ingested. Symptoms, which can take about two weeks to develop, include watery or explosive diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, bloating, gassiness, abdominal cramps, weight loss, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, fatigue and malaise.  See a doctor if you have had these symptoms for more than a few days especially if your eyes appear sunken or you have reduced urine output, reduced tear production or a dry mouth or tongue, which are symptoms of dehydration.


  1. I believe we are going to be forced to grow our own food because of the poor & unhealthy conditions at slaughter houses. It’s sickening what they are doing to these poor animals who then die & get chopped up in our food supply. Dedicated vegan!!!

  2. I live in southeast Michigan (Ann Arbor) & I seem to have the symptoms you have described for cyclospora. For almost a week I have had the diarrhea problem, & the symptoms have not been improving over time. Other than the first 2 days or so I have had no other flu like symptoms & at the beginning I did feel like I had a very mild flu. Physically I feel fine now except for this diarrhea problem. I have never had a problem with this as an adult, other than when I have had a serious flu, & then it would last only 2-3 days. The problem is so severe that I have had to wear heavy duty “pads” just to get around the house. One of the most debilitating problems is that I have virtually no warning that it is about to happen, which makes it difficult to leave home. I will be contacting my primary care physician for confirmation test in the next day or so if this does not end. As far as the source of this “bug”, I have been eating a fair amount of fruit (cherries, strawberries, melon, etc.), and I always wash thoroughly before eating (except for melon). Fruit & some vegetables are usually bought at local farmers market or grocery stores; I have also been eating two or three “fresh” salads per week, usually made from salad fixings at local grocery stores & I have no idea how much “washing” the stores do with their salad bar vegetables (lettuce, red peppers, mushrooms, etc.). Either my doctor or I will report to authorities in the next few days if my test results are positive for cyclospora. Please, no attorney solicitation calls-I am an attorney myself.

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