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  • 82d AMDS Public Health Flight
Nearly 15,000 cases of Cyclospora infections occur each year in the U.S.  Recently there has been an outbreak of Cyclospora in the Dallas area caused by cilantro that was imported from Mexico.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a very small parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis.  Once someone ingests the parasite, they do not show symptoms until a week later. 

Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times.  When they do, symptoms include watery diarrhea, explosive bowel movements, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, gas, nausea, and fatigue.  Other symptoms can include vomiting, body aches, headache, and fever.

The recommended treatment is a combination of two antibiotics: Bactrim, Septra, or Cotrim. 

People who have diarrhea should also rest and drink plenty of fluids.  Most people who have healthy immune systems will recover without treatment. 

To prevent ingestion of the parasite, fruits and vegetables must be cleaned thoroughly before they are consumed to remove all dirt and pesticides.  First, wash your hands for 20 seconds before touching the fruit.  Next, rinse fruits and vegetables under running water. Wash produce before you peel it so dirt and bacteria aren't transferred from the knife onto the fruit or veggie. Make sure to scrub firm produce such as melons and cucumbers with a clean produce brush. 

For more information on Cyclospora please contact the 82d AMDS Public Health Flight at 676-1874/3052 or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website at: