CDC warns of surge in Cyclospora parasitic infections — 200+ cases reported since May

The CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and state and local health departments are investigating increased reports of the intestinal infection cyclosporiasis, which is caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis.

From May 1 to Aug. 2, the CDC has tallied 206 cases of Cyclospora infections across 27 states. Over a comparable time period last year, local and state health officials reported 88 such infections to the CDC.

The CDC on Monday issued the following recommendations for healthcare providers diagnosing the illness:

  • Consider a diagnosis of cyclosporiasis among patients with prolonged or remitting-relapsing diarrheal illness.
  • When testing for Cyclospora, providers should consider obtaining several stool samples, as Cyclospora may be shed intermittently and at low levels.
  • Report all identified cases to local health departments.

On July 17, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued a health advisory to healthcare providers to test patients with diarrhea lasting longer than a few days for the parasite Cyclospora. Additional possible symptoms may include anorexia, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever.

To learn more about cyclosporiasis, click here.

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