Cyclospora Infection (Cyclosporiasis) (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Are Symptoms and Signs Cyclospora Infection?
Some people in areas where cyclosporiasis is endemic (semitropical and tropical areas) may have no symptoms. Many others, especially individuals that have never been exposed to the parasites typically develop symptoms about seven days after ingestion although reports range from two days to about two weeks. The symptom most commonly reported is watery diarrhea (sometimes characterized as explosive diarrhea). Other common symptoms may include gas, bloating, cramping, abdominal discomfort or pain, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and less common, low fever and vomiting. Unfortunately, these are all nonspecific symptoms and can be caused by many different infections and diseases. Though many of these symptoms are short-term symptoms, cyclosporiasis symptoms often last for weeks to months if untreated.
When Should I Call the Doctor about Cyclospora Infection?
If a person has ingested the same food or water (liquid) that someone with a diagnosis of cyclosporiasis has ingested, or has been in an area where cyclosporiasis is endemic, and develops symptoms, they should seek medical care. Individuals with diarrhea lasting a week or more should seek medical care unless dehydration or weakness develops sooner.
How Is Cyclospora Infection Diagnosed?
Cyclospora infections are not common in the U.S., so individuals who have been in endemic areas or who have other health concerns (for example, long-term diarrhea, eating imported foods without careful washing) should inform their medical caregivers if they suspect a Cyclospora infection. In turn, medical caregivers need to alert laboratories they suspect such infections so that the fecal specimens will be tested specifically for Cyclospora parasites. In addition, it is likely other tests will be done to determine if other pathogens or similar parasites like Microsporidia are causing the symptoms.
Labs may need to examine and concentrate samples because only a low number of oocysts are shed into the feces. In addition, special stains, fluorescence microscopy, or PCR tests are used to find and identify the parasites.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2017
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