FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2013
CONTACT: Jennifer Miller, (608)
Multi-state Cyclospora Outbreak
Includes Wisconsin Residents
MADISON—State health officials announced today that four cases of
gastrointestinal illnesses caused by a microscopic parasite called
Cyclospora have been reported among Wisconsin residents. These cases are
presumed to be part of a multi-state outbreak of the disease affecting
approximately 200 people, mostly in Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas. The ill
Wisconsin residents live in Milwaukee, Brown, and Grant Counties.
“Because Cyclospora can cause a prolonged illness and the disease is
treatable with sulfa drugs, we want people to know that they should
contact their doctor if they experience a gastrointestinal illness with
watery diarrhea that lasts more than two or three days,” said Dr. Henry
Anderson, State Health Officer. Anderson noted that because this is a
relatively rare infection, doctors usually do not test for Cyclospora,
which requires special testing procedures.
State officials are collaborating with the federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local health officials, and health
departments in other affected states.
Although the source of the infection is not yet known, people
generally become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water
contaminated with the parasite. Symptoms of cyclosporiasis include
watery diarrhea (the most common sign), abdominal cramps, nausea,
extreme fatigue, bloating, and occasionally fever. People typically
become sick approximately seven days after they acquire the infection,
but that incubation period can range from two to 14 days.
Cyclospora infections usually resolve on their own, but the illness
can last a long time. Patients may have relapsing symptoms that can
persist for weeks to months. Only five cases of cyclosporiasis were
reported among Wisconsin residents during 2008 through 2012.
Health officials will continue to monitor for additional cases and
have been supporting the national investigation by interviewing patients
regarding their food history and other exposures.
For more information about Cyclospora:
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July 19, 2013