April 23, 2024

Cyclospora Illnesses Top 1,000 in U.S. with 79 Hospitalized

Domestically acquired cyclospora illnesses in the United States have topped 1,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with at least 1,063 people sick and 79 hospitalized. This is an increase of 482 more patients since the last update on July 13, 2023. Thirty-four states have reported cases.

Cyclospora Illnesses Top 1,000 in U.S. with 79 Hospitalized

While cyclospora cases are reported year round in this country, the spring and summer months often sees an explosion in illness. This year cases reported starting in April, when they used to start increasing in May. Cyclospora is endemic to tropical regions, and up until about ten years ago, almost all of these illnesses occurred in people traveling outside the United States.

There are three cyclospora outbreaks that are most likely caused by contaminated food, according to the FDA. All together those outbreaks have sickened at least 250 people, but none of them have been solved.

As of July 27, 2023, the case count by state is: Alabama (61-100), Arkansas (1-10), Arizona (31-60), California (11-30), Colorado (101-145), Connecticut (1-10), Florida (31-60), Georgia (31-60), Illinois (61-100), Indiana (1-10), Kansas (11-30), Kentucky (1-10), Louisiana (1-10), Massachusetts (11-30), Maryland (1-10), Michigan (11-30), Minnesota (11-30), Missouri (1-10), North Carolina (11-30), Nebraska (1-10), New Jersey (11-30), New York (101-145), Ohio (31-60), Oklahoma (11-30), Pennsylvania (11-30), Rhode Island (1-10), South Carolina (11-30), Tennessee (11-30), Texas (101-145), Utah (11-30), Virginia (31-60), Wisconsin (11-30), West Virginia (1-10), and Wyoming (11-30). A range of case counts is recorded because the counts may be reported directly to the Cyclospora surveillance program at the CDC and may not match what is listed in the Nationally Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System tables.

Multiple potential clusters of cases are being investigated, although no specific food items have been identified as the source of most of these illnesses. State and local public health officials are interviewing patients to find out what foods they ate before they got sick. The patient age range is from 2 to 96 years. The median illness onset date is June 8, 2023, with a range from April 1, 2023 to July 17, 2023. This outbreak will most likely continue to grow.

The total number of cases include 20 illnesses in Georgia and Alabama that are linked to an outbreak associated with raw imported broccoli. Traceback could not link the broccoli to a specific type of producer. The broccoli outbreak appears to be over and there is no indication at this time that that getable is a source of cyclospora illnesses.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis include increased gas, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, cramps, bloating, and explosive watery diarrhea that may stop and then recur without warning. These symptoms can persist for weeks or months if not treated. Symptoms usually begin two weeks after eating food contaminated with this parasite. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor and ask for a cyclospora test.


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