Cyclospora reported from Minnesota and Ohio, total number of states reporting the parasite is 11
With new cases of the protozoan parasite being reported from Minnesota and Ohio today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 11 states have reported Cyclospora cases to the federal health agency.
To date, CDC officials are reporting a total of 285 cases across 11 states– Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois and Kansas.
Of the 285, at least 18 people in three states have required hospitalization for their illnesses.
According to the CDC, Cyclospora cayetanensis causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis.
Cyclospora illness is typically traced to consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables contaminated with the parasite.
Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms.
The symptoms of Cyclospora infection can last an average of 57 days, if untreated.
Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) Medical Director and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk told Dispatch Radio last Saturday that their is effective treatment for cyclosporiasis.
“It’s sort of unusual, you’d think with a parasitic infection, you would give an antiparasitic medicine, but in fact for some reason that we don’t understand, we give an antibacterial antibiotic called trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, a relatively common antibiotic”, she said.
The CDC said it is not yet clear whether the cases from all of the states are part of the same outbreak.
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