Federal officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now stepping in to assist health officials in 13 states in investigating a spike in cases of Cyclosporiasis, according to CIDRAP. Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the parasite Cyclospora.
In total, 125 cases have been reported with no lead on a source.
At least 61 cases have been found in Texas alone. The other states with cases are: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Tennessee.
Officials aren’t yet calling this an outbreak since it is unclear whether all of the cases are related.
Patients are currently being interviewed about international travel, with 19 so far reporting that they had recently traveled internationally, while another 35 had not. Cyclospora is more common in some tropical countries.
Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis include watery, sometimes explosive diarrhea, as well as loss of appetite, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and bloating. If not treated, these symptoms may last anywhere from days to a month or more, with the potential for relapse.
Last year, a Cyclosporiasis outbreak linked to imported salad mix and fresh cilantro sickened 631 people in 25 states.
Previous Cyclosporiasis outbreaks in the U.S. have been linked to imported fresh produce such as lettuce, salad mix, snow peas, raspberries, cilantro and basil.