Intestinal parasite spreads to several states

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 2:43pm

Cyclospora is a little parasite that’s causing big intestinal trouble and discomfort in several states

It's a small parasite with a big name, cyclospora.

And it's causing a rash of intestinal infections.

Just last week health officials reported 48 new cases in Texas.

That number has now grown to 353 cases in 14 other states.

This is cyclospora, a microscopic organism made of just one cell.

This cell can cause cyclosporiasis, an infection of the small intestine.

Health officials aren't sure how people are ingesting the parasite, but in the past it has been linked to eating contaminated produce.

People in states across the country it's caused a host of uncomfortable symptoms like watery diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and fatigue.

These symptoms can last a few days or a month or longer.

Despite the severe symptoms, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen says the infection is not fatal.

"One thing that's important to know is there are medicines that can help, so this is not something that we're seeing people die from."

Treatment for this infection is usually a combination of antibiotics, fluids and as with many other ilnesses...Lots of rest.

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