Plagued by watery diarrhea and stomach cramps? It may be due an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis. At the moment the US Food and Drug Administration is concerned about the multi-state spate of Cyclospora intestinal infections spread in the country. Nearly 200 cases of this infection were found in a large number of states in US.

Majorly Iowa, N.Texas, Nebarska and Wisconsin have reported cases of Cyclospora infection that maybe caused due to undetermined food products. AS the investigations continue the best way out in this situation is to make sure that the number of people falling ill is curtailed, so read on for a few ways to stay aware:

Cyclospora infection

The Cyclospora infection is caused by a one-cell parasite that can’t be seen with a naked eye. Whenever people consume food or water contaminated by the parasite , the infection starts to set in. Ken Mitchell, M.D., the chief medical officer at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center says that the microscopic parasite cyclospora “ attacks your digestive system and actually infects the cells that line your small intestine.”

Symptoms of infection

The parasite can be transmitted from one person to the other because of dirty handling, and the incubation period of the infection is spaced over a week to fifteen days. The parasite makes home in the small intestine and leads to frequent explosive bowel movements with watery diarrhea.

The patient also complains of a loss of appetite, nausea, increased gas formation, stomach bloating and cramps, along with general malaise, extreme fatigue, fever, vomits, head ache, or body aches. The symptoms may show up in some cases whereas they are not evident in others. The infection may spread out to a month if untreated and a relapse is not uncommon.

How to keep safe?

The best way to deal with this is to prevent an illness by practicing safe food preparation and food handling methods.

Make sure the hands are washed properly before touching the food stuffs.

The surfaces used for cooking food, the utensils, hands etc need to also be cleaned thoroughly with hot soapy water.

Lots of times we neglect washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly, make sure you dunk the veggies in fresh clean water as soon as you get them and wash properly. Dry the veggies properly before storing in refrigerator.

Boil unpasteurized milk before consumption and stay away from raw unwashed salads.

Do you love swimming? Be careful and don’t ingest the water, it may be contaminated and as Mitchell comments “If you’re exposed to somewhere between one to10 parasites, it’s very likely you’re going to get a symptomatic infection,” but don’t worry people, “The good news is that it’s very easily treated with a common antibiotic — a sulfa drug,” says Mitchell.

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