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What are the Causes and Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis?

Cyclosporiasis is a parasitic disease caused by a protozoa Cyclospora cayetensis. This parasite is transmitted by drinking contaminated water and ingestion of food. These might be infected by fecal matter. The infection can lead to severe diarrhea. Some of the Cyclosporiasis cases are asymptomatic while others can be severe. Untreated cases can suffer relapse of the disease.

The disease is also called

‘traveler’s diarrhea’

as it is mostly confined to adult foreigners who visit endemic regions and get infected. The species is placed in the genus Cyclospora as it has a spherical shape of its sporocysts.

Causes of Cyclosporiasis:

Following conditions are indicated as possibly causal risk factors for Cyclosporiasis disease –

  • Infected stool
  • Contaminated water
  • Contaminated food
  • Travel to foreign countries

Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis:

The parasite infects the small intestine and typically causes illness. Some people experience flu-like symptoms before they experience gastrointestinal symptoms. The time period between becoming infected and developing symptoms takes several days. If it is left untreated, the illness may last for several days to a month. Sometimes, the cases are asymptomatic. When symptoms are present, they include –

  • Watery and frequent diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Increased gas
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Low grade fever

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