December 7, 2019

Cyclospora Outbreak Associated With Workplace Cafeterias in Central Virginia

A cyclospora outbreak that is associated with three workplace cafeterias has sickened people in central Virginia, according to a news release by the Virginia Department of Health. A food or water source of these cyclosporiasis outbreaks has not been identified by public health officials.

Cyclospora Outbreak Associated With Workplace Cafeterias in Central Virginia

The press release states that workplace cafeterias in the following locations are part of the online investigation: Capital One Building at 1600 Capital One Drive in McLean, Virginia; Valo Park Building at 7950 Jones Branch Drive in McLean, Virginia; and CarMax at 12800 Tuckahoe Creek Parkway in Richmond, Virginia. These cafeterias are not “widely accessible” to the general public.

Officials are working with the business owners to try to solve this outbreak. There are 39 confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in Virginia that have been diagnosed since May 1, 2019. The five-year average for the same time frame from 2014 through 2017 was 9 cases.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis include watery and explosive diarrhea, weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, nausea, fatigue, fever, vomiting, and body aches. These symptoms can seem to disappear and can then come back without warning.

The press release stated that an increase in cyclosporiasis cases was identified in Northern Virginia in mid-June 2019. This is an another  outbreak.

There is a multistate cyclospora outbreak ongoing in the United States that has sickened at least 580 people in 32 states; 38 people have been hospitalized. Multiple clusters of cases that are associated with different restaurants or events are being investigated. We don’t know whether this outbreak is linked to the larger nationwide outbreak.

And there is one multistate outbreak of cyclosporiasis that is linked to fresh basil imported from Siga Logistics de RV de CV of Morales, Mexico. In that outbreak, 132 people in 11 states are sick. Again, we don’t know whether this outbreak is linked to this one particular illness cluster.

While there is treatment available for this illness, it is sulfa-based, which means that people who are allergic to sulfa don’t have an effective treatment. No highly effective alternative drugs have been found for these patients.

If you have been experiencing cyclosporiasis symptoms, see your doctor. A special test must be requested for this infection, so be sure to mention these outbreaks.

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