Type: Parasitic

Geography: Tropical and sub-tropical regions, North America

Cases Per Year: 100 to 23000

Fatality Rate: 0%

First Discovered: 1977 by Ashford in Papua New Guinea

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite. People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces. Outbreaks have been reported due to contaminated fruits and vegetables. It is not spread from person to person directly.

The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about 1 week. It infects the small intestine and causes watery diarrhea with frequent bowel movements, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. On occasion, other symptoms such as vomiting, body aches, headache, and fever are reported. If not treated, the illness may last for up to a month. It can be treated with antibiotics and drinking plenty of fluids.

Photo: Cyclospora oocysts stained with modified acid-fast stain – Micrograph.