Cyclospora infection is responsible for causing watery and sometimes explosive diarrhea. This infection is caused by a parasite called Cyclospora cayetanensis, which can enter the body by ingestion of adulterated food or water. Since there can be many reasons for diarrhea, the diagnosis of this infection is difficult. Different specific tests are required to close down on the parasite causing the infection in samples of the stool.
Signs and Symptoms of Cyclospora Infection
There are some set of people infected with this parasite that have no symptoms at all and there are other set of people who develop severe symptoms from this infection, which begin within a week of consuming the contaminated food. Some Of The Symptoms Are As Follows-
- Loose watery diarrhea.
- Frequent bowel movements which can be sometimes explosive.
- Diarrhea alternating with constipation.
- Appetite loss.
- Loss of weight.
- Stomach cramping.
- Muscle pains.
- Slight fever.
The watery diarrhea may cease within a few days or may last for weeks and the immune system of a person is compromised due to other underlying conditions, then it may take longer for this infection to get treated.
Causes of Cyclospora Infection
As mentioned above, this infection is caused by a one celled parasite called Cyclospora cayetanensis, which can enter into our body by consuming contaminated water or food. The transmission of this parasite is practically unknown. An infected person passes this parasite via stool, so it is not likely that one will get infected by direct contact with an infected person. The main reason for the outbreak of this infection in the United States has been lettuce, imported raspberries.
Risk Factors for Cyclospora Infection
Previously, people who had a travel history to third world countries were at greater risk for having this infection; however, at present this infection is present worldwide and anyone ingesting contaminated food or water is likely to get this infection.
Treatment of Cyclospora Infection
The first line of treatment from this infection is a combination of the medications Septra and Bactrim. People with sensitivity to sulfa drugs are given Cipro for treatment, which is found to be effective.