Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis parasites in food. These parasites get into food via contaminated feces.
5 Steps to an Outbreak
- Someone infected with Cyclospora has a bowl movement containing unsporulated (immature, non-infective) oocysts in the feces.
- Feces containing the unsporulated Cyclospora oocysts gets into food;
- The food is uneaten for a day to weeks, during which time, the unsporulated oocyts sporulate (become infective);
- Two or more people eat the food that is now tainted with sporulated oocysts; and
- At least 2 of them get sick and are diagnosed with cyclosporiasis.
In the United States, these outbreaks are caused by imported fresh produce, including raspberries, basil, snow peas, lettuce, and cilantro. Last year, there was a very large outbreak that sickened over 600 people in 25 states. This outbreak was linked to bagged salad mix.
Attorney Ryan Osterholm represents people sickened by food contaminated with Cyclospora. Contact Ryan for a free consultation.
What are the Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis?
It generally takes about a week after eating contaminated food before symptoms appear. When they do, the symptoms can be violent, and the diarrhea (watery, frequent, and often explosive) can last a month or more, making it impossible for some people to go back to work until the diarrhea is over.
Once the parasite is eaten, it infects the small intestine, causing watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, vomiting (not always), body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms. Some people who are infected do not have any symptoms.
How Long Can the Symptoms Last?
The illness may last from a few days to over a month. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse). This happened to some of our clients.
Our clients have told us that they have never had such bad diarrhea in their lives, and that it lasted for weeks or months. They also experienced severe fatigue.
What is the Treatment?
The recommended treatment is a combination of two antibiotics, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, also known as Bactrim, Septra, or Cotrim. Sulfamethoxazole is a sulfa drug. Unfortunately, many people are allergic to sulfa.
Can I Sue a Restaurant or Food Company for Cyclosporiasis?
If your case can be linked to food eaten at a restaurant and/or sold by a food company (processor, distributor), you can sue for compensation. Our experience is that people stricken with cyclosporiasis are unable to work for one or more weeks. Some of our clients were unable to work for several weeks. We help our clients get compensation for these lost wages, medical expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
You can click here now to get your free consultation with our lawyers. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Ryan Osterholm are our lead lawyers for these cases.