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Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2013

Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infection

Iowa health officials are investigating the source of an uncommon parasitic infection, which has sickened at least seven people in the past two weeks, according to a press-citizen.com report yesterday.

The cyclospora infections, which are characterized by long-lasting severe diarrhea,  have been confirmed in residents of Benton, Des Moines, Fayette, Linn and Webster counties.

Four Cyclospora oocysts from fresh stool stained using a modified acid-fast stain. Image/CDC (DPDx)

Four Cyclospora oocysts from fresh stool stained using a modified acid-fast stain.
Image/CDC (DPDx)

The report notes that cyclospora infections are so uncommon in the Hawkeye state that there has been only 10 cases reported during the past two decades.

This has prompted health officials to urge the public to  wash your fruits and veggies thoroughly to prevent this infection.

Health officials say two other Midwestern states are also reporting possible outbreaks.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a single celled coccidian parasite that is endemic in the United States and Canada.

The parasite causes watery diarrhea, nausea, anorexia, abdominal cramps and weight loss. Fever is a rare symptom.

People get infected with Cyclospora through foodborne or waterborne means. Swimming in contaminated water is also a way someone can get infected.

Cyclospora has been implicated in numerous outbreaks in North America with contaminated fruits and vegetables being the common culprits (raspberries, basil and lettuce all washed with contaminated water), especially those imported from developing nations.

Related story: Iowa reports first human West Nile virus case in Linn County man

All fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before eating though this does not guarantee safety. Cyclospora is resistant to chlorination.

Treatment is usually successful after a course of the antibiotic Septra. Patients with HIV or otherwise immunocompromised usually require higher dosages for a longer period of time. Untreated infections can last from a few days to over a month.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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Have Your Say
  1. CDC: Cyclospora outbreaks ‘appears to be over’ - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] multistate cyclospora outbreak, which was first reported on in early July in Iowa, appears to be over, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) […]

  2. Iowa and Nebraska investigate outbreaks of the parasite, Cyclospora - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow-up to a story last week, Iowa Department of Public Health officials, in collaboration with CDC and local public health […]

  3. Officials search for source of parasite outbreak – DesMoinesRegister.com | Diarrhea -Causes and Treatment says:

    […] seven Iowans. The cyclospora infections have been confirmed in five counties in the past …Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infectionThe Global Dispatchall 10 news […]

  4. Unusual parasite sickens seven Iowans; authorities seeking source – Iowa City Press Citizen | Diarrhea -Causes and Treatment says:

    […] seven Iowans. The cyclospora infections have been confirmed in five counties in the past …Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infectionThe Global Dispatchall 10 news […]

  5. Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infection – The Global Dispatch | Diarrhea -Causes and Treatment says:

    […] Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infectionThe Global DispatchThe cyclospora infections, which are characterized by long-lasting severe diarrhea, have been confirmed in residents of Benton, Des Moines, Fayette, Linn and Webster counties. Four Cyclospora oocysts from fresh stool stained using a modified acid-fast …Iowa Officials Monitor Intestinal Infection CasesKAALtv.comUnusual parasite sickens seven Iowans; authorities seeking sourceDesMoinesRegister.com (blog)Health officials in Iowa are warning you to wash your fruits and veggiesKTIVall 10 news articles » […]

  6. Iowa Officials Monitor Intestinal Infection Cases – KAALtv.com | Diarrhea -Causes and Treatment says:

    […] have been traced to fresh produce. Consumers are being urged to carefully wash their …Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infectionThe Global DispatchUnusual parasite sickens seven Iowans; authorities seeking […]

  7. Avoid nasty bug that causes diarrhea: Wash your fruits and veggies – Omaha World-Herald | Diarrhea -Causes and Treatment says:

    […] watery diarrhea per day. Fatigue and a lack of appetite are common, officials said, adding …Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infectionThe Global DispatchIowa officials monitor intestinal infection caseskwwl.comOfficials search for […]

  8. Iowa reports first human West Nile virus case in Linn County man - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infection […]

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