People across the US in sixteen states have been diagnosed with cyclosporiasis. The CDC has now recorded 504 cases, and the numbers seem to be growing.
Cyclosporiasis is caused by the parasite cyclospora cayetanensis. This parasite can contaminate food and drinking water. It is most often found in tropical and subtropical areas, although people who live in these areas may not be as sensitive as travelers.
Food generally comes in contact with cyclospora during the harvesting process. Water contaminated with human fecal matter can enter the field through run-off or irrigation errors. Then, if the food is not thoroughly washed before consumption, the consumer may ingest the parasite. Previous outbreaks have been connected to contaminated raspberries, lettuce, and basil. Although the investigation is ongoing, the current outbreak seems to have been caused by bagged salad served in restaurants.
The parasite can take up to two weeks to show signs in the infected human. Symptoms can include: cramping, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms. To get rid of the parasite, the sufferer should seek help from a medical professional.
How Can You Avoid Cyclospora?
The CDC and the FDA advise that consumers can avoid being infected by cyslospora by thoroughly washing produce. This will wash the parasite away along with other contaminants on the food, including dirt and bugs.
Since tap water can also be contaminated by cyclospora in certain areas, consumers should be aware of the possible contaminants in their area. To filter cyclospora out of tap water, a 1 micron absolute carbon filtration system can reduce the risk. A simple and easy to use option is the Aquacera HCP Countertop water filter system. This system hooks easily onto almost any kitchen or bathroom tap. It is an excellent choice for those going to tropical areas where cyclospora is an increased risk. This ceramic filter system will also reduce chlorine, lead, and arsenic.
Other options for filtered water can include an ultrafiltration system or a water distiller system. Both of these systems will reduce not only cyclospora, but also other parasites and cyst, giving great tasting and worry-free water.
If you have more concerns about cyclospora in your water, give one of our Certified Water Quality Specialists a call at 1-877-335-3339. We would be happy to provide you with a water solution.