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Stomach bug infects Americans in 8 states

Michael DeLaney

Symptoms lasting as long as a month

The Center for Disease Control has reported that more than 270 people in as many as eight states have been infected by a stomach bug. The parasite that has infected them is known as Cyclospora, which is found in tropical regions such as Latin America. This stomach bug is a one-celled parasite that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps and other flu-like symptoms.

The Cyclospora stomach bug has infected Americans in Nebraska, Texas, Iowa, Georgia, Wisconsin, Kansas, Connecticut and Illinois. The majority of these stomach bug-infections occurred between mid-June and early July, according to the CDC. The CDC reports that cyclosporiasis is spread through ingesting foods or water contaminated with feces.

Similar stomach bugs that cause flu symptoms from food poisoning last only a few days. Infections of cyclosporiasis however can take a week to start showing symptoms and can last longer than a month.

Dr. Steven Gordon, Chairman Infectious Disease at the Cleveland Clinic, told ABC news some of the hazards of cyclosporiasis: “People can get bloating, vomiting, low grade fevers as well and if it’s not diagnosed you can get a fatigue syndrome afterwards.”  

At least 10 people have been hospitalized due to the stomach bug, with the CDC still uncertain as to what the connections among these cases are. Typical cases of the Cyclospora stomach bug in the U.S. have been connected to produce imported from tropical countries, such as basil, raspberries and snow peas.

The Iowa Department of Health is investigating the situation and has indicated that fresh vegetables may be the cause of infection. They recommend scrubbing and washing your fresh produce until they determine which vegetable in particular is the culprit.

If you are infected by the Cyclospora stomach bug, it can be treated with antibiotics. Health professionals recommend consulting with your doctor so they can prescribe the specific type of antibiotic needed to rid you of the stomach bug.

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