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Articles » Facts About Cyclospora: CDC-OC

Facts About Cyclospora: CDC-OC

Article title: Facts About Cyclospora: CDC-OC

Conditions: Cyclospora

Source: CDC-OC

Facts About Cyclospora

October 2, 1998
Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

  • Cyclospora cayetanensis (SIGH-clo-SPORE-uh KYE-uh-tuh-NEN-sis) is a parasite composed of one cell, too small to be seen without a microscope. The first known human cases of illness cyclosporiasis) were reported in 1979. Cases began being reported more often in the mid-1980s.
  • Cyclospora is spread by people who ingest water or food that has been contaminated with infected stool. Because Cyclospora needs time (days or weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious, it's unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another. It is unknown whether animals can be infected and pass infection to people.
  • Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other symptoms can include loss of appetite, substantial loss of weight, bloating, increased gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, low-grade fever, and fatigue. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about 1 week. 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 (relapse).
  • People of all ages are at risk for infection with Cyclospora. In the past, infection was usually found in people who lived or traveled in developing countries. However, people can be infected worldwide, including in the United States. Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of fresh produce.
  • Identification of the Cyclospora parasite in stool requires special laboratory tests that are not routinely done. Therefore, your health-care provider should specifically request testing for Cyclospora. Because Cyclospora can be difficult to diagnose, you may be asked to submit several stool specimens over several days. Your health-care provider may have your stool checked for other organisms that can cause similar symptoms.
  • The recommended treatment for infection with Cyclospora is a combination of two antibiotics, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, also known as Bactrim*, Septra*, or Cotrim*. People who have diarrhea should rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoiding water or food that may be contaminated with stool may help prevent Cyclospora infection. People who have previously been infected with Cyclospora can become infected again.

For more information on Cyclospora visit this website

* No alternative drugs have been identified for people who are sensitive to sulfa drugs. See your health-care provider for other treatment recommendations.

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