400 Cases Reported Of New Deadly Parasite Spreading In America.

Alissa Rose

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 402 domestically acquired cyclosporiasis illnesses in the past month.

Cyclospora is usually spread when feces infect food or water. It’s transmitted directly from person to person because the Cyclospora parasite needs time to become infectious for another person after being passed in a bowel movement

A total of 864 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in people who had no history of international travel during the 14 days before illness onset have been reported to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by 35 jurisdictions, including 34 states and New York City.

59 people needed hospitalization for their illness, and no deaths have been reported. The onset of illness dates goes from May through August.

Early U.S. outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to many types of fresh produce, including basil, cilantro, mesclun lettuce, raspberries, and snow peas.No common source has yet been found.

The time between being infected and becoming sick is usually about one week.

Cyclosporiasis is a gastrointestinal illness caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis. Condition is caused by consuming contaminated food and water.

Symptoms include:

  • watery diarrhea (with frequent, sometimes explosive stools)
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • abdominal cramping/bloating
  • increased flatus
  • nausea, and prolonged fatigue.
  • Vomiting
  • body aches
  • low-grade fever (other flu-like symptoms may be noted.)

Consumers should follow these steps:

  • Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards, and countertops; then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water; dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Wipe up spills in the refrigerator immediately and clean the fridge regularly.
  • Always wash hands with hot, soapy water following the cleaning and sanitization process.
  • Persons who think they might have become ill from eating potentially contaminated foods should consult their health care provider.

Reference:

https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborne-pathogens/cyclospora

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