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Cyclosporiasis intestinal illness harming tourists

Avoid raspberries when visiting resorts!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts on #TheCruiseGenius, over the last year I have fallen in love with all-inclusive resorts. While I still love to cruise, the Grand Palladium Resort in Riviera Maya (near Playa del Carmen) has changed my life!

Don’t watch alone!

Unfortunately, news reports of people getting sick, or dying at resorts has been alarming. However, I wanted to share an important story about cyclosporiasis intestinal illness harming tourists and citizens in the U.S.

Foodsafetynews.com reported the following on July 3rd, 2018:

“Texas has had multiple outbreaks linked to cilantro,” the state health department reported. “… Cyclospora can be very difficult to wash off. Cooking will kill the parasite. Infection is generally not transmitted directly from person-to-person. There were 319 cases of cyclosporiasis in Texas reported last year.

“Rapid reporting to public health is essential to preventing additional cases of cyclosporiasis. Healthcare providers and laboratories are required to report confirmed cyclosporiasis cases to their respective local health department.”

Other outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the United States in recent years have been associated with consumption of imported fresh produce, including fresh cilantro, pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, basil, snow peas, and mesclun lettuce.

Symptoms of Cyclospora infection are often similar to intestinal viruses that resolve without medical treatment. Consequently, the state health department is urging people to seek medical attention if they have diarrhea for more than a few days.

Similarly, public health officials have advised health care providers to consider testing patients for the parasite if they have diarrheal illness lasting more than a few days or diarrhea accompanied by severe anorexia or fatigue.

In addition to producing symptoms that can be confused with other illnesses, cyclosporiasis requires special lab tests with specific doctor’s orders. Even then, “a single negative stool specimen does not exclude the diagnosis; three specimens are optimal,” according to the warning from the Texas health department.  

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the microscopic Cyclospora parasite. Symptoms usually begin 2 to 14 days after ingestion of the parasite. 

The main symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. Symptoms may come and go multiple times over a period of weeks or months.”

Keep in mind that this parasitic disease isn’t limited just by eating uncooked food or raspberries at a glitzy all-inclusive resort in Mexico! This disease could be as close as your local restaurant or grocery store.

Click on the link for the full story: https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/07/texas-officials-report-dozens-sick-from-parasitic-infections/

Additional info: https://www.medicinenet.com/cyclospora_infection_cyclosporiasis/article.htm#cyclospora_infection_cyclosporiasis_facts




About Scott Lara

Navy Veteran, Travel Agent, love to cruise!

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