A Cyclospora outbreak has taken place in states all across America including in New York. 22 states altogether have reported cases of Cyclospora with Texas and Iowa being the worst hit with 257 and 156 cases respectively being initially reported. The latest numbers show that the true number of people sickened in Texas is close to 300, continuing to increase by 26 cases a week.
According to reports 471 people who fell ill from the infection reported the sickness and only 40 of those (or 9 per cent) were hospitalised. Thankfully there were no deaths reported.
Iowa, the state with the second highest number of cases this year usually only has one or 2 cases a year of this infection.
The infections have been linked to lettuce grown by Taylor Farms De Mexico and in salads served at popular American chain restaurants Olive Gardens and Red Lobsters, both owned by Darden Restaurants based in Orlando Florida. The foodborne parasite has so far affected an estimated 600 plus people in 22 states.
The following excerpt from CBSNews.com explains:
As of the evening of Aug. 7, 504 cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York (including New York City), Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Investigators are still struggling to pinpoint sources of the outbreaks in most of the 16 affected states.
At least 30 people have been hospitalized and no one has died.
More about Cyclospora
Cyclosporiasis is caused by a cyclospora parasite found in contaminated food or drinking water.
Symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea (which health officials have said can last up to 57 days), abdominal pain, cramping, flu-like aches and pains and low-grade fever.
The Cyclospora parasite is transmitted to people who come into contact with objects contaminated with infected stool (mainly water and foods like fruits and vegetables that may have been washed or sprayed with contaminated water). Although this bacterium is so small it can only be seen with a microscope, the damage it can cause is serious.
I found an excellent post onhttp://www.medicinenet.com/ which provides more clarity on what exactly Cyclospora are and how they can infect people:
Cyclospora is a parasite that is composed of one cell. It is too small to be seen without a microscope. Its full name is Cyclosporacayetanensisa, and it has a life cycle that involves both sexual and asexual reproduction. The part of the cycle in man is the ingestion of sporulatedoocysts that pass through the GI tract where the sporocysts break open in the small intestine and release oocysts that infect the GI cells. The organisms then reproduce and release unsporulatedoocysts into the stool contents that are excreted into the environment where they develop into sporulatedoocysts that can infect humans.
Cyclospora is transmitted by a person putting something in his or her mouth that was contaminated with sporulatedoocysts in water or on foods that have been exposed to human faeces in the recent past. In order to avoid foodborne illnesses ensure that you always wash your hands before you eat or after visiting the toilet. It is also important to ensure all fruit and vegetables are thoroughly washed and dried before consuming raw. Also avoid drinking water from questionable/unknown water sources.