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Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. People living or traveling in countries where cyclosporiasis is endemic may be at increased risk for infection.

People living or traveling in tropical or subtropical regions of the world may be at increased risk for infection because cyclosporiasis is found in some countries in these zones. In the United States, foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce. People can get infected with Cyclospora more than once.

Cyclosporiasis is a reportable disease in Oklahoma.  

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water if hands are visibly soiled, otherwise it’s okay to use an alcohol based hand gel. Important times to clean your hands are: After using the bathroom; before preparing or eating food; after changing a diaper, after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing; after caring for a sick person; and after touching an animal.
  • Select food with care, particularly in areas where hygiene and sanitation are poor. All raw foods are subject to contamination; therefore avoid salads, uncooked vegetables, and unpasteurized milk and milk products such as cheese. Eat only food that has been cooked and is still hot, or fruit that has been washed in clean water and then peeled personally.
  • Avoid drinking untreated water, particularly in areas where hygiene and sanitation are poor. Drink bottled water to avoid dehydration.

Most people who have healthy immune systems will recover without treatment. If not treated, the illness may last for a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse). Anti-diarrheal medicine may help reduce diarrhea, but a health care provider should be consulted before such medicine is taken. People who are in poor health or who have weakened immune systems may be at higher risk for severe or prolonged illness.