The number of cyclospora cases have increased by 73 during the past week in the US, bringing the total to 457 confirmed cases, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update Tuesday.
16 people required hospitalization for their illness.
29 states are reporting people ill with the parasitic infection.
Health officials note that 60 percent of the cases have experienced onset of illness on or after May 1, 2015, and did not have a history of international travel within 2 weeks before illness onset. Most cases reported since that time include Texas (157), Georgia (22), New York City (21), Florida (11) and Wisconsin (10).
As previously reported, clusters of illness linked to restaurants or events have been identified in Texas, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Cluster investigations are ongoing in Texas and Georgia. Cluster investigations in Wisconsin and Texas have preliminarily identified cilantro as a suspect vehicle.
In the United States, foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis since the mid-1990s have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce, including raspberries, basil, snow peas, and mesclun lettuce; no commercially frozen or canned produce has been implicated.
The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about 1 week. Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue.
Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms.
The recommended treatment is a combination of two antibiotics, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, also known as Bactrim, Septra, or Cotrim.