Public health alert issued in Georgia following Cyclospora outbreak

Georgia officials are currently investigating a Cyclospora infection outbreak in the northwestern part of the state. Although the Georgia Department of Health’s Northwest Health District did not reveal the exact numbers, they are urging individuals with symptoms of the infection to seek treatment and report confirmed cases to local public health officials.

It is commonly believed that cyclosporiasis is linked with the consumption of fresh food that is grown outside the United States. However, recent years have seen a rise in infections among individuals who ate leafy greens and coriander grown within the United States. It is important to note that Cyclosporosis is not contagious and there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The Georgia public health officials have stated that an ongoing investigation is underway, and they anticipate that the number of cases will likely increase in the near future. The illness caused by cyclospora infection can result in long-lasting gastrointestinal disturbances, which often include watery diarrhea with frequent and sometimes explosive bowel movements that can last for weeks. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

If individuals experience diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, or similar symptoms for more than a few days, health care providers recommend seeking help. It is essential to note that if left untreated, the symptoms could last over a month or recur multiple times. Health care providers can order tests and prescribe antibiotics to confirm the illness.

Cyclospora infections can be mild or severe, with the elderly, children, and individuals with weakened immune systems at the highest risk of serious infections. Those with the symptoms of the disease are urged to promptly seek medical attention. We encourage individuals to sign up for a free subscription to food safety news for information and guidance on food-borne illnesses.

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