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Enteric, Zoonotic and Vector-Borne Diseases

Cyclosporiasis is an infection of the small bowel caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanesis. This parasite is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates and hence is not endemic (routinely found) in Ontario.  As a result, all reported cases in the province are either travel-related or associated with an imported food source. People who live or travel in tropical or subtropical regions of the world may be at increased risk of infection, especially in Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Cyclosporiasis is acquired from consuming fruits, produce or water that is contaminated with feces, or swimming in contaminated water. Past outbreaks have been linked to imported fresh berries, snow and sugar snap peas, herbs and lettuce from developing countries where this parasite is endemic.

The time between coming into contact with the parasite and becoming sick is usually about a week, with a range of 2 to 14 days. Symptoms of cyclosporiasis include watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fe​ver, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, fatigue, muscle ache and weight loss. Without treatment with the appropriate antibiotic, symptoms may last from a few days to a month or longer, and may relapse after the illness appears resolved. It is very unlikely for this infection to be transmitted via person-to-person spread due to the life cycle of the parasite. 

Page last reviewed:
Page last updated: 2018-11-14 9:12 AM
Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 2018-11-14 9:12 AM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion