The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released an update about the cyclospora infection outbreak that started in the United States in June. As of July 23, according to the report, more than 250 cases of cyclospora infections had been reported in several states, including Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia and Connecticut. Illinois and Kansas have also had one reported case each. However, it is possible the infections were acquired in one of those original reporting states.
Cyclospora, a single-celled parasite, causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis, marked by symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and fatigue, among other symptoms of stomach bugs.
Cyclospora infections tend to occur in people living in or traveling to the tropics and subtropic regions, where the parasite is endemic, or regularly found. It is usually spread when people ingest food or water contaminated with feces.
Ten people have been hospitalized as result of the infection. However, none of those infected had travelled internationally in the two weeks leading up to the first infection, discovered in late June.
While the source of the outbreak hasn’t been discovered yet, the CDC is cooperating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and public health officials across multiple states to aid in the investigation of the outbreak.
The CDC and FDA advise the avoidance of food or water contaminated with feces, and practicing safe food handling-- including thoroughly washing produce and hands to prevent a cyclospora infection.