In an update on the cyclosporiasis outbreak north of the border, Canadian health officials now report an additional four cases, bringing the total cases to 87 in four provinces. The additional cases include three in Ontario and one in British Columbia.

Cyclospora oocysts
Oocysts of C. cayetanensis viewed under differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy.
Image/CDC DPDx

The breakdown of the 87 cases include: British Columbia (4), Alberta (1), Ontario (77), and Quebec (5). Two cases have been hospitalized, and are recovered or recovering. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between May 3 and July 27, 2015. To date, no source has been identified. The investigation is ongoing.

Cyclospora is a microscopic single-celled parasite that is passed in people’s feces. If it comes in contact with food or water, it can infect the people who consume it.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis begin an average of 7 days (range, 2 days to ≥2 weeks) after ingestion of sporulated oocysts.

The major symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever.

In the US, as of August 10, 2015, the CDC had been notified of 457 ill persons with confirmed Cyclospora infection from 29 states in 2015.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today

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