CDC investigates cyclosporiasis outbreak

| September 9, 2014 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating 304 confirmed cases of infection with the protozoan intestinal parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis that have been reported in 2014.

Cases of cyclosporiasis are often associated with foreign travel, but 207 of the reported cases in 19 states had no history of international travel in the two weeks before they developed symptoms. This suggests that infection may have been acquired from food consumed in the USA.

Most of the cases (133) were reported in Texas in July and epidemiological and trace back investigations by state public health officials and the FDA have indicated that many of the cases were linked to consumption of fresh cilantro (coriander) from Puebla in Mexico. Six clusters of infection were identified, some of which were associated with restaurants.

The outbreak in Texas is thought to be over, but investigations into cases in other states are continuing. At present there is no evidence that these are associated with fresh cilantro, but the FDA has increased sampling of cilantro imported into the USA from Mexico.

More information about the investigation can be found on the CDC website here.

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