The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is currently investigating an outbreak from the microscopic parasite Cyclospora.
As of June 15, there have been 62 patients reported in Colorado since May 1, 2023. No hospitalizations or deaths have been reported.
At this time, public health officials have identified 45 people who are likely associated with the outbreak who dined at the same restaurant, Tacos del GNAR, in Ridgway.
People affected reported dining at Tacos del GNAR since May 1, 2023.
Colorado has averaged 63 cases per year between 2017 and 2022. The state health department is the lead agency on this investigation and is working closely with Ouray County Public Health to identify a possible source of the outbreak.
the state health department has communicated information about this outbreak to health care providers throughout the state. Health care providers must report all cases of cyclosporiasis to public health within four days.
Cyclospora outbreaks are typically the result of contaminated food — usually fresh produce — in the supply chain rather than as a result of food handling and/or cleaning practices at restaurants.
Tacos del GNAR is partnering with CDPHE in all aspects of the investigation. When informed of the outbreak, Tacos del GNAR disposed of and replaced all produce within the facility with different products, according to the state health department.
Anyone who dined at Tacos del GNAR since May 1, 2023, and experienced or is still experiencing symptoms such as watery diarrhea should contact a health care provider as soon as possible to get tested for Cyclospora, which is typically treated with antibiotics. The parasitic infection can mimic other illnesses so potential patients should tell their doctors about their possible exposure.
People who ate at the restaurant since May 1, 2023, whether they became ill or not, are asked to complete an online survey to help public health with the investigation into the cause of this outbreak.
Cyclospora is spread by people eating or drinking something — such as food or water — that was contaminated with the parasite. Cyclospora is generally not passed directly from one person to another.
The time between eating or drinking Cyclospora, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, and becoming sick is usually about one week, but can be more than two weeks. Cyclospora infects the small intestine and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes severe, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms.
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