Cyclosporiasis

Cause: Protozoan Cyclospora cayetanensis. Protozoan

Illness and treatment: Symptoms include persistent watery diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss. Antibiotics are available to treat persistent symptoms.

Sources: Cyclospora are common in many developing countries. Transmission occurs through ingestion of contaminated food or water, often fresh fruit or vegetables. Outbreaks in the United States have been attributed to imported produce such as raspberries, basil and lettuce. Tests for cyclospora must be specifically requested.

Additional risks: Diarrhea may persist with immunosuppression.

Prevention: Wash produce thoroughly before it is eaten. If traveling to risk areas, consult with a travel clinic or the CDC Travelers' Health website.

Recent Washington trends: 0 to 11 cases are reported yearly, mainly after international travel.

Purpose of Reporting and Surveillance

  • To identify sources of transmission (e.g., a commercial product) and to prevent further transmission from such sources
  • To better characterize the epidemiology of this organism

Legal Reporting Requirements

  • Health care providers: notifiable to local health jurisdiction within 3 business days.
  • Health care facilities: notifiable to local health jurisdiction within 3 business days.
  • Laboratories: Cyclospora cayetanensis notifiable to local health jurisdiction within 2 business days, specimen submission within 2 business days required.
  • Local health jurisdictions: notifiable to the Washington State Department of Health Communicable Disease Epidemiology (CDE) within 7 days of case investigation completion or summary information required within 21 days.