June 4, 2020

Cyclospora Sickens A Dozen in Massachusetts

Cyclospora outbreak in MIAt least a dozen people in Massachusetts were stricken with cycslospora infections in July, according to the state’s Department of Public Health. Typically, less than five cases are reported annually in that state.

Health authorities don’t know what food source has been contaminated with the parasite which is normally associated with travel to tropical or subtropical regions. In the past, cyclospora outbreaks have been linked to imported produce items including , snow peas, basil, cilantro, mesclun and salad.

Massachusetts is one of several states experiencing a cyclospora outbreak for the second straight year. Last summer, outbreaks in 25 states sickened 631 people. This summer, at least 12 states have reported spikes in cases of cyclsporiasis.

Symptoms of an infection include watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, cramping, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, vomiting and low-grade fever. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor..

Cyclosporiasis is normally treated with Bactrim, Septra, or Cotrim. These drugs contain sulfa and those with allergies to sulfa cannot take it.

Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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