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Cyclospora Infection (Cyclosporiasis) (cont.)

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What are the risk factors for a Cyclospora infection?

Cyclospora causes disease throughout the world, but it is commonest in tropical and subtropical climates. Outbreaks in cooler areas are often caused by food imported from warmer climates. Food is at risk if exposed to soil or water that is contaminated with human feces. Produce like lettuce, raspberries, basil, and snow peas have caused past outbreaks. In 2013, an outbreak involved many states, including Texas, Iowa, and Nebraska. It affected hundreds of people and was at least partially caused by bagged lettuce grown in Mexico. There have been small outbreaks in 31 states with a total of 546 people diagnosed with the infection in 2015.

Although travel to a tropical or subtropical country is a risk factor for Cyclospora infection, the risk is relatively low. Cyclospora is not a major cause of travelers' diarrhea.

Is Cyclospora contagious? What is the contagious period for Cyclospora?

Cyclospora is not contagious directly from person to person. Even though the oocysts are shed in stool, they take days to weeks to mature in the environment before becoming infectious. People can only be infected by eating or drinking something contaminated with mature oocysts.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/23/2016


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