Facts About Cyclospora: CDC-OC
Article title: Facts About Cyclospora: CDC-OC
Facts About Cyclospora
October 2, 1998
Contact: CDC, Division of Media
- 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
- 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 https://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/cyclospo/cyclomen.htm
* No alternative drugs have been identified for people who are
sensitive to sulfa drugs. See your health-care provider for other
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