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Cyclospora Infection (Cyclosporiasis)

Cyclospora Infection (Cyclosporiasis) Facts

  • The Cyclospora parasite causes cyclosporiasis when humans ingest contaminated water or food containing Cyclospora sporulated oocysts.
  • Symptoms and signs of Cyclospora infections include watery diarrhea, gas, cramping, bloating, nausea, weight loss, appetite loss, and fatigue.
  • Medical care should be sought if symptoms last about a week or more, if a person has traveled through an endemic area, or if they become dehydrated and weak.
  • Diagnosis of Cyclospora infections require special laboratories and lab tests to detect the parasites.
  • The only CDC recommended treatment is the antibiotic trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Sulfatrim).
  • Self-care at home consists of symptomatic treatment and completing oral antibiotic therapy.
  • Follow-up is not usually required if treatment is effective, but follow-up for certain individuals is recommended.
  • The prognoses of most treated Cyclospora infections is good to excellent; the prognoses of untreated infections range from good to a few poor outcomes.
  • Complications of Cyclospora infections may include a relapsing illness, malabsorption, cholecystitis, Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis), dehydration, and electrolyte problems in some patients.
  • There is no vaccine to prevent Cyclospora infections; the CDC recommends avoiding water and foods contaminated with human feces and adherence to FDA guidelines for food growers and food packagers.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/8/2013

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