The Florida Department of Health (DOH) today announced one additional case of Cyclospora in Florida, which brings the current total to 24 cases, including one hospitalization. DOH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other federal agencies and health departments, to investigate cases of Cyclospora nationwide in an attempt to identify the source of the infection.

Cyclospora is caused by a single celled parasite that infects the small intestine.  Cyclospora usually causes diarrhea with frequent bowel movements. Other common symptoms of cyclospora infection include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever and other flu like symptoms may be noted.

Cyclospora is not contagious and cannot be passed directly from one person to another.

It is most commonly spread by ingesting water or uncooked food that was contaminated with human feces.  Cyclospora infections are most commonly linked to imported herbs, vegetables and berries.

Onset dates of cyclospora cases in Florida range fro m the beginning of June to mid July. Currently, the average case age is 57.5 years, with a range of 22 – 78 years of age. The current case count consists of 14 females and 10 males. At this time, there are no identified links to common restaurants or food ingredients found among the 24 cases, as in other states.