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Cyclospora Outbreaks Most Common During Warm Weather Months

Posted on in Cyclospora

Cyclospora Outbreaks Most Common During Warm Weather MonthsThe Centers for Disease Control reports that there were 580 confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in the U.S. between May 1 and July 23, 2019. The cases occurred in 30 states and the District of Columbia and have been traced to food served in restaurants and prepared at home. Fresh basil imported from Mexico seems to be the largest source of the outbreak, being connected to 132 infections. In total, at least 38 people have been hospitalized, with no reported deaths. The U.S. commonly experiences an increase in cyclospora outbreaks during the summer months, as opposed to the rest of the year.


Cyclospora is a parasite spread through feces that contaminates food or water. The parasite is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical areas. Travelers to these areas are at greater risk of infection if they consume raw local foods or tap water. Domestic outbreaks in the U.S. can come from fresh produce imported from these tropical areas, including but not limited to:

  • Lettuce;
  • Basil;
  • Raspberries; and
  • Snow peas.

Domestic consumers can best protect themselves from infection by thoroughly washing produce, though this is not guaranteed to remove the parasite.

Seasonal Outbreaks

Domestic cases of cyclosporiasis are consistently at their highest from May to September, with June and July usually being the peak. One study of domestic cases from 2011 to 2015 found that 93 percent of the reported cases occurred during those months. The reason for these seasonal outbreaks may be that people are more likely to eat raw produce during warm weather months. Outbreaks can occur in clusters, centered around restaurants, events, or products. However, the CDC has difficulty tracking cyclosporiasis cases to specific outbreaks because it lacks the ability to identify specific strains of the infection.

Contact an Arlington Heights Food Poisoning Attorney

A person infected with cyclospora can experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Cramping;
  • Bloating;
  • Nausea;
  • Increased gas;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Weight loss; and
  • Fatigue.

In rare cases, an infected person may experience vomiting and low-grade fever. The infection may last a few days to a few weeks if diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. If not, the symptoms may last for more than a month. Some medical researchers believe that cyclosporiasis can be connected to chronic illnesses, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and other diseases. If you have experienced a cyclospora infection, you need to trace the possible source of your infection. A Chicago food poisoning attorney at Newland & Newland, LLP, can determine whether the party who provided the infected food may be liable for your illness. To schedule a consultation, call 312-981-0409.


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