Cyclosporiasis (Cyclospora Infection)
Cyclosporiasis is an infectious disease caused by the Cyclospora cayetanensis, a single cell parasite. The very first reported case of Cyclosporiasis occurred in 1979 and the number of cases increased during the eighties. In America as well as Canada, there have still been reports of Cyclosporiasis during recent years.
It takes Cyclospora some time, up to weeks, to become infectious when expelled with stool. While it is unlikely that person to person infection occurs, when infected stool contaminates food or water, Cyclosporiasis can be spread by unsuspecting people who consume the contaminated resources. Different types of fruits and vegetables have spread Cyclosporiasis.
It has yet to be determined if animals can infect humans. Cyclosporiasis can impact individuals of any age all over the world, but people who have traveled or reside in developing countries are especially at risk.
Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis include diarrhea and upset stomach. This is because Cyclospora infection occurs in the small intestine and impacts bowel movements. Additional symptoms of Cyclosporiasis include weight loss, increased gas, cramps, vomiting, loss of appetite, bloating, aches, fatigue, and fever. Some cases of Cyclosporiasis are asymptomatic.
It may take approximately one week for symptoms of Cyclosporiasis to manifest. Without treatment, symptoms of Cyclosporiasis could go on for over a month. The manifestations may disappear for a period only to relapse at a later point.
If you suspect that you are suffering from Cyclosporiasis, consult our doctor straight away. Cyclosporiasis is diagnosed using stool samples. Testing for Cyclosporiasis can be hard and several samples may be required over a period of time. The necessary lab tests are not routine tests and will require a special laboratory that your doctor may not have immediate access to.
Treatment of Cyclosporiasis requires a combination of prescription antibiotics know as Bactrim, or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, Septra, or Cotrim. Unfortunately, no alternative medication has been found to treat Cyclosporiasis for patients who are allergic to sulfra medication. Consult your doctor regarding alternative treatment methods.
Prevention of Cyclosporiasis entails taking caution against contaminated areas, foods, and water. Practice good hygiene, and wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially when traveling in developing countries. If you have had Cyclosporiasis, you could still get infected again.