What is cyclosporiasis?
Cyclospora cayetanensis (SIGH-clo-SPORE-uh KYE-uh-tuh-NEN-sis) is a parasite composed of one cell, too small to be seen without a microscope. The first known human cases of illness caused by Cyclospora infection (that is, cyclosporiasis) were reported in 1979. Cases began being reported more often in the mid-1980s. In the last several years, outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been reported in the United States and Canada.
How is Cyclospora spread?
Cyclospora is spread by people ingesting something, for example, water or food that was contaminated with infected stool. For example, outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of fresh produce. Cyclospora needs time (days or weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious. Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another. It is not known whether or not animals can be infected and pass infection to people.
Who is at risk for Cyclospora infection?
People of all ages are at risk for infection. In the past, Cyclospora infection was usually found in people who lived or traveled in developing countries. However, nowadays the infection is found worldwide.