June 2, 2020

Cyclsospora Sickens Dozens in NY

Dozens of New Yorkers have contracted parasitic infections this summer from contaminated food. At least 29 cases of cyclospora infection have been reported in New York since June.  Nineteen of the cases were reported in the city, 10 throughout the rest of the state.

Cyclospora outbreak in TXOther states have also reported spikes in cases of cyclosporiasis, the infection caused by cyclospora, a rare parasite normally associated with travel to tropical regions. Since June, roughly 300 cases of cyclosporiasishave been reported from more than a dozen states including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas and Washington. 

Health authorities have not yet identified a food source in any of the affected states, nor have they been able to determine if any of the cases are related. In the past, cyclospora outbreaks have been caused by imported salad greens, cilantro, raspberries, snow peas, basil and mesclun.

Cyclospora is transmitted when microscopic amounts of fecal matter from an infected person contaminate food that is later eaten by another person. When cyclospora oocysts leave the body they are immature and unable to cause infection. After they sporulate over a number of days or weeks they become mature and can cause infection in ingested.

Symptoms of a cyclopora infection, can last up to two months and include diarrhea that can be watery or explosive, abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, body aches and low-grade fever. See a doctor if you have these symptoms.

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