(HealthDay News) – The intestinal infection cyclosporiasis is generally seen in people living or traveling in tropical or subtropical areas, but two cases brought to the attention of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in June occurred in individuals who had not been traveling internationally at the time infection would have occurred.
Since then, the CDC, in collaboration with public health officials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has been investigating the outbreak and possible causes. By July 24, 285 cases had been identified in multiple eastern, southern, and midwestern states.
When cyclosporiasis is seen in the United States it is often traced to imported produce, but no such link has been found at this time. It is unclear if this is a single outbreak affecting multiple states, and no common event or gathering where patients might have visited has been identified. One of the five cases confirmed in laboratories was confirmed via telediagnosis; the CDC encourages laboratories to use this method.
According to the CDC, “telediagnosis allows for rapid laboratory confirmation. State health laboratories may submit [to the CDC] images showing suspected Cyclospora oocysts. Images may be captured from modified acid-fast stained smears or from wet mounts examined by ultraviolet fluorescence microscopy.”