The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Mysterious Stomach Virus Spreads to Eleven States

Mysterious Stomach Virus

It's called the cyclospora infection, and it has shown up in 11 states so far. Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Ohio, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Connecticut have all reported incidents of this new virus to the Centers for Disease Control.

According to the CDC, the virus first appeared in the U.S. in June. By July 25, 285 cases were reported; some required hospitalization. Here is important information on the virus.

Symptoms

The symptoms of the virus include watery and explosive diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, low-grade fever, and fatigue. The symptoms are similar to those caused by stomach flu.

Cause

Cyclospora infections occur by drinking water or eating food, especially produce, that is contaminated with feces. A parasite in the feces causes infection to form in the intestinal tract. The symptoms usually start anywhere from 2-11 days after eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

When to seek help

If the symptoms continue for several days, medical attention should be sought. One of the dangers of the virus is dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting.

Prevention

Both the CDC and Food and Drug Administration urge people, especially those who are travelling to tropical regions, to thoroughly wash hands and produce before eating, and avoiding contaminated water--drink bottled water instead.

Both organizations are following the illness carefully as some incidents were among those who had no history of international travel.
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