Cyclosporiasis is a treatable intestinal disease caused by the protozoan Cyclospora. It is transmitted through contaminated food, water or beverages and has an average incubation period of 7 days after ingestion of sporulated oocysts.
Since the oocysts take approximately 10 days to mature before they are infective, direct person-to-person transmission is unlikely. Patients present with diarrhea, abdominal pain and fatigue. Symptoms are usually self-limiting but may persist for several weeks and can be particularly severe in those who are immunocompromised.
LISTEN: Parasites 101: Cyclospora
Over the summers of 2015 and 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) reported outbreaks of the intestinal disease cyclosporiasis in travellers returning from Mexico, mainly from the Riviera Maya and Cancun regions.
As at 27 July, 78 cases had already been reported in the UK in 2017, of which 37 (47%) had travelled to Mexico, 20 were awaiting travel history, 14 had travelled to nine other overseas destinations and seven reported no overseas travel.
Officials are taking the following actions to include pre-travel advice and information, improved laboratory testing and cross-country collaboration with Mexico.
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