Health Officials Probing Uptick in Cyclosporiasis Cases in Oklahoma and Around the Country

KOKH - July 21, 2023 6:45 am

Health officials are investigating a rise in cyclosporiasis nationwide, including in Oklahoma.

Cyclosporiasis is a diarrheal illness caused by a single-celled parasite and is spread by consuming contaminated food or water, which becomes contaminated after exposure to fecal matter from ill individuals.

Cyclospora is not known to be spread person-to-person.

“We have seen cases increase here, but we don’t want people to panic,” said the State Epidemiologist Jolianne Stone. “Our goal is to share information with Oklahomans on how they can work to prevent potential illnesses and what to do if they start to feel sick.”

Health officials said people should wash fruits and vegetables, practice good hand hygiene and avoid handling food if ill with diarrhea.

People are encouraged to call their healthcare provider if they experience symptoms of cyclosporiasis which can include watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and fatigue.

These symptoms typically appear one week after exposure.

“We are currently encouraging healthcare providers to think about testing patients for Cyclospora if a patient has any of the symptoms listed above, especially watery diarrhea that has persisted for over a week,” said Stone. “There is treatment for this, so if someone is diagnosed, they will work with their doctor to get medication.”

Health officials are trying to figure out what may cause these illnesses.

 

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