The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating multiple reports of Cyclospora infection statewide. 

The state’s health department has logged more infections from this parasite since April, and there are more than twice as many cases so far this year as were reported in Alabama in all of 2022.

Cyclosporiasis is a gastrointestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite. People can get sick with cyclosporiasis by eating fresh produce contaminated with Cyclospora. However, Alabama officials have not yet determined a specific source of the parasites in this year’s outbreak. 

In recent weeks other states, including Georgia, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have reported outbreaks of infections from the parasite.

Cyclosporiasis can be mild or serious and cause an illness that can result in prolonged gastrointestinal (gut) distress, including watery diarrhea with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements that can last for weeks. In severe cases, Cyclospora infection can require hospitalization. Most people with healthy immune systems will recover without treatment. Some people may require treatment, such as people with poor health or weakened immune systems, including those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or taking immunosuppressive medications.

Cyclosporiasis is not contagious. There is no evidence it spreads from person to person. If you have had diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, or other gastrointestinal symptoms lasting longer than two days, talk to your healthcare provider.

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