By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Maryland map/National Atlas of the United States

Maryland state health officials report investigating an increase in Cyclospora cases in recent weeks from areas across the state.  Thirty-seven of the 42 lab-confirmed cases reported between Jan.1 and July 20 have been reported over the last two weeks, part of an overall recent rise in reported cyclosporiasis cases in other parts of the U.S.

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is working with local, state and federal health officials to investigate the increase. No specific source for these cases has been identified.

Imported Basil from Mexico the Source of 132 Cyclospora Cases

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite. People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces or stool that contain the parasite.

Cyclosporiasis typically causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, stools within one to two weeks after exposure. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal cramping or bloating, nausea and prolonged fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. If untreated, the illness may last for a few days to a month or longer and may seem to go away but come back again.

In the U.S., foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce, such as raspberries, basil, snow peas, mesclun lettuce and cilantro.