CDC Confirm Cases of Intestinal Parasite Outbreak in Illinois & Tennessee
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with state and federal health officials, continues to monitor cases of cyclosporiasis in the United States. Cyclosporiasis is a diarrheal illness caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis.
210 Laboratory-Confirmed Cases Nationwide
As of June 20, 2023, a total of 210 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported across 22 states and New York City. Illinois and Tennessee are among the states affected by this outbreak. The reported cases range from April 1 to June 9, with a median onset date of May 5, 2023. While 30 individuals required hospitalization, no deaths have been reported.
Symptoms of Cyclospora Cayetanensis Parasite Infection
Cyclosporiasis symptoms typically appear within two weeks of consuming contaminated food or water. Watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, cramping, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue are common symptoms. If left untreated, symptoms may improve temporarily before recurring.
What To Do If You Suspect You Are Infected with the Cyclospora Cayetanensis Parasite
The exact source of this outbreak is yet to be determined, and state and local health officials are actively investigating the matter. It is essential for individuals who suspect they have cyclosporiasis to seek medical attention and get tested promptly. Treatment options are available to manage the illness effectively.
Cooperation with Health Officials is Important
To aid in the investigation, local and state health officials may contact affected individuals to gather information about their recent food consumption. Cooperation with these inquiries is crucial as it helps identify the contaminated food source and prevent further cases of cyclosporiasis.
Cyclospora Cayetanensis are Often Associated with Fresh Produce
It is worth noting that cyclosporiasis outbreaks in the United States are commonly associated with fresh produce. In previous incidents, outbreaks have been linked to foods such as basil, cilantro, mesclun lettuce, raspberries, and snow peas. However, not all cases can be directly attributed to a specific outbreak. Questionnaires are used to determine food consumption patterns before illness onset.
Broccoli Related Outbreak Appears to Be Over
While the outbreak associated with raw imported broccoli in Georgia and Alabama has concluded, ongoing vigilance is necessary. At present, there is no indication that broccoli continues to be a source of illness in other cyclosporiasis cases reported in the United States.
Practice Good Food Hygiene
To protect yourself and others, it is vital to practice good food hygiene, including washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption. Additionally, maintain proper hand hygiene and follow any advisories or recommendations issued by health authorities.
Stay Informed & Take Precautions
By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, we can help minimize the impact of cyclosporiasis outbreaks and protect our communities. If you suspect you have cyclosporiasis, seek medical attention promptly to receive appropriate care.