Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite composed of one cell, too small to be seen without a microscope. This parasite causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis. In the United States, outbreaks of the infection have been linked to imported produce.
In 2015, an outbreak associated with contaminated cilantro infected close to 500 people in 30 states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Cyclospora is spread by people ingesting something – such as food or water – that was contaminated with feces. Cyclospora needs time (days to weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person. Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another in most circumstances.
People living or traveling in tropical or subtropical regions of the world may be at increased risk for infection because cyclosporiasis is endemic in some countries in these zones. In these areas, not only can consuming contaminated foods or water put someone at risk, but anytime there is a sanitary sewer overflow or flooding event that may contain sewage that contaminates a home or building the potential for exposure may exist.
The CDC reports that the time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about 1 week. Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps and pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever and other flu-like symptoms may also be present. However, some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms.
People who think they may have been infected should see their healthcare provider. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times.
These are just a few things to know about Cyclospora and exposure risks. To learn more about this or other environmental, occupational, health, safety or indoor air quality issues, please visit the websites shown below.
Clark Seif Clark http://www.csceng.com
EMSL Analytical, Inc. http://www.emsl.com
Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. http://www.iecinc.net
LA Testing http://www.latesting.com
Zimmetry Environmental http://www.zimmetry.com
Healthy Indoors Magazine http://www.iaq.net
Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters http://HudsonDouglasPublicAdjusters.com