Virginia sees increase in intestinal illness

Virginia News

MGN

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is investigating an increase in intestinal illness called Cyclosporiasis.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite.

According to the VDH, there have been 39 confirmed cases of Cyclosporiasis in Virginia since May 1, 2019. You can view cases by region on the VDH website.

The five-year average for the same time frame from 2014 to 2018 was nine cases.

Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis appear an average of seven days after ingesting the parasite. Symptoms may include:

  • Watery diarrhea (most common)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Increased gas
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should visit their healthcare provider. If left untreated, symptoms could continue for several weeks to a month or more.

Individuals are reminded to wash hands, as well as fruits and vegetables, to prevent Cyclosporiasis.

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