BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Cyclosporiasis is currently catching the attention of health officials across the country. The disease, caused by the Cyclospora parasite, has infected several people across the United States. About 88 Cyclosporiasis cases were reported during 2016. That number has more than doubled in 2017, to 206. What is puzzling the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is finding the cause of the outbreak.
What is Cyclosporiasis?
When the Cyclospora parasite infects a host, it causes the onset illness known as Cyclosporiasis. The CDC draws attention to the fact that the disease can catalyze a variety of problematic symptoms, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and more. It can be caught by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. However, it cannot be transmitted from person to person.
According to the CDC website, “People living or traveling in countries where Cyclosporiasis is endemic may be at increased risk for infection.”
Since travel is at a high volume during summer months, people are at an increased risk of acquiring the parasite over this season.
The Current Cyclosporiasis Cases Scare and Testing and Prevention
The infection has so far been identified in patients across 27 U.S. states. Most of the jump in cases compared to last year occurred over the summer. In 2015, a high increase in the number of cases was quickly traced to contaminated cilantro crops. Unfortunately, investigators have yet to track down a single source, this time around.
Authorities want medical facilities to test for the illness immediately if patients experience multiple symptoms of an infection. However, the process is not easy. The Health Alert Network reports that doctors must “specifically order” for the test as it is not detected in normal pathogen screenings. Concerning treatment, many Cyclosporiasis cases are responsive to antibiotics.
While officials have no specific instructions on avoiding a probable source of the outbreak, they do want people to take precaution. If they experience related symptoms to the illness, they should seek medical attention. With prevention procedures, it becomes easier to help halt the spread of Cyclospora until a cause can be identified.
Image Source: Wikimedia