CDC: Domestic Cyclospora cases spike to 1,696 with 1,100 new infections

In a monthly update yesterday on domestic Cyclospora cases, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 1,116 more have been reported, raising the overall total to 1,696. Three more states have reported cases, lifting the number of those affected to 33. The District and Columbia and New York City have also reported cases.

Summer rises in domestic Cyclospora cayetanensis, a parasite that is spread by consuming food or water contaminated with feces, have been common in recent years, some of which were caused by imported produce such as raspberries, basil, and cilantro.

At least 205 of the cases from this year have been tied to an outbreak linked to imported Mexican basil, but the CDC said in yesterday’s update that federal and state health officials are investigating multiple clusters linked to different restaurants or events. The agency added that it’s not known yet if other cases in the country are linked to the outbreak tied to fresh basil.

So far, 92 people have been hospitalized for their infections, which can produce profuse diarrhea that can last weeks to months. No deaths have been reported. The latest illness onset was Aug 13.

Cases this year are still below the 2018 total of 2,299, about a third of which were connected to two large multistate outbreaks in the Midwest, one related to prepackaged vegetable trays and the other to salads sold at a fast food chain.

Aug 29 CDC update
Jul 26 CIDRAP News story “Multistate outbreak tied to basil part of Cyclospora surge