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Biological Health Hazard – Cyclosporiasis Outbreak: UK ex Mexico


It seems that Mexico is a hotspot for Cyclospora infections. There is no known animal reservoir so the infection is most probably transmitted when human feces are used to fertilize greens for human consumption.

Published Date: 2016-07-30 13:11:32
Subject: PRO> Cyclosporiasis – UK: ex Mexico
Archive Number: 20160730.4381665

Date: Sat 23 Jul 2016
Source: Outbreak News Today [edited]

UK health officials are seeing an increase in the parasitic infection, cyclosporiasis, in travelers returning from Mexico, according to Travel Health Pro report.

The cluster has been seen since June [2016] and many of the travelers stayed in Riviera Maya [Quintana Roo state], the same place where some 80 travelers contracted Cyclospora last summer.

_Cyclospora cayetanensis_ is a single celled coccidian parasite. Cyclosporiasis occurs in many countries, but it seems to be most common in tropical and subtropical regions. The parasite causes watery diarrhea, nausea, anorexia, abdominal cramps and weight loss. Fever is a rare symptom.

People get infected with Cyclospora through foodborne or waterborne means. Swimming in contaminated water is also a way someone can get infected.

Cyclospora has been implicated in numerous outbreaks with contaminated fruits and vegetables being the common culprits (raspberries, basil and lettuce all washed with contaminated water), especially those imported from developing nations.

All fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before eating though this does not guarantee safety. Cyclospora is resistant to chlorination. Treatment is usually successful after a course of the antibiotic Septra [trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole].

Patients with HIV or otherwise immunocompromised usually require higher dosages for a longer period of time. Untreated infections can last from a few days to over a month.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[A similar outbreak in UK travellers was reported in October 2015 where _Cyclospora cayetanensis_ was identified in 176 returned travellers from the Riviera Maya region of Mexico between 1 Jun and 22 Sep 2015, 79 in the United Kingdom (UK) and 97 in Canada. A nationwide outbreak of cyclosporiasis took place in the United States and Canada in June to August 2015 (see ProMED-mail reports below) and the source was suspected to be lettuce imported from Mexico.

It seems that Mexico is a hotspot for Cyclospora infections. There is no known animal reservoir so the infection is most probably transmitted when human feces are used to fertilise greens for human consumption. – Mod.EP

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:]

See Also

Cyclosporiasis – UK, Canada: ex Mexico, RFI 20151101.3759380
Cyclosporiasis – USA (05): ex Mexico 20150827.3606898
Cyclosporiasis – USA (04): ex Mexico 20150813.3576519
Cyclosporiasis – Canada 20150810.3569701
Cyclosporiasis – USA (03) 20150802.3553403
Cyclosporiasis – USA (02): (TX) 20150702.3479116
Cyclosporiasis – USA: (TX) increase in cases 20150624.3462421

Cyclosporiasis – USA (02): multistate 20140730.2646220
Cyclosporiasis – USA: (TX) 20140727.2638219

Cyclosporiasis – USA (14) 20130906.1926983

Cyclosporiasis – USA (02): background 20111002.2967

Cyclosporiasis – USA (FL)(03) 20050604.1564

Cyclosporiasis – USA (PA) 20040918.2584

Cyclosporiasis – USA (Missouri) 19990907.1574

Cyclosporiasis, basil – USA (Washington D.C.) (04) 19970730.1594

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