Cyclospora Parasite (cont.)

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How is Cyclospora transmitted?

Cyclospora is transmitted by a person putting something in his or her mouth that was contaminated with sporulated oocysts in water or on foods that have been exposed to human feces in the recent past. Cyclospora oocysts needs time (days or weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to develop into an infectious organism (sporulated oocysts). Therefore, transmission of Cyclospora directly from an infected person to an uninfected person is unlikely.

Who is at risk for infection with Cyclospora?

People of all ages are at risk for infection. In the past, Cyclospora infection was usually found in people living or traveling in tropical countries. More and more, cases are being recognized in countries such as the United States and Canada. The risk may vary with season. Infection may be most common in spring and summer.

What are the symptoms of Cyclospora infection?

Cyclospora infects the small intestine and usually causes watery diarrhea (sometimes described as explosive diarrhea) with frequent bowel movements. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, increased gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, muscle aches, and low-grade fever. Other infectious organisms can cause a similar illness, and these symptoms are not specific for Cyclospora infection. Some people infected with Cyclospora do not develop any symptoms.

The time between becoming infected and developing symptoms is usually several days to a week, but some cases may take as long as two weeks to develop. If not treated, the illness may last for a few days to a month or longer. It may also return one or more times.

What should you do if you think you may be infected with Cyclospora?

If you think you may be infected with Cyclospora, you should consult your physician. Identification of this parasite in stool requires special laboratory tests that are not routinely used in most U.S. hospitals. Therefore, your physician should specifically request testing for Cyclospora and send stool samples to specialized laboratories. More than one stool sample may be needed. Your physician may also want to have your stool checked for other infectious organisms that can cause similar symptoms.

Cyclospora Outbreak - Berry, Berry, Quite Contrary Resources

Doctor written main article on Cyclospora Infection (Cyclosporiasis)

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/28/2016

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