Cyclospora: What to Do About It?
“Cyclospora” – sounds like a performance cycling brand. Before you rush out to buy that website domain (we checked; it’s for sale), we should probably tell you that it’s actually a nasty parasite making news nationwide. And it, apparently, has a Facebook profile? The nerve.
The main way “Lil’ C” affects your body is with the “Big D” – diarrhea, often for over a week. Other symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Weight loss
How Do People Contract Cyclospora?
People contract this illness when water with cyclospora has contaminated fruits and veggies. Most typically, this occurs in imported basil, cilantro, raspberries, lettuce, and snow peas. The problem is that Cyclospora isn’t something you can just rinse off with the old “hold the lettuce under the sprayer for three seconds” thing. The parasite is more resilient than that. Not even iodine or chlorine kills it. In fact, the only thing that will kill it is boiling. Boiled lettuce, anyone?!
Public Health Officials Track Cyclospora
You can see why public health officials track this infection so vigilantly. We can’t have everyone freaking out about raspberries. And no one wants to attend your pool party featuring boiled raspberries (they do NOT instagram well, from any angle).
Cyclospora in Texas
Over 60 cases in Texas have been reported so far this summer, a quarter of those in Travis County. So be on the lookout, and get tested if you have the symptoms.
Odds of Infection are Low
I’m going to be honest; I love cilantro, and you won’t see me curtailing my cilantro intake due to cyclo-fears. Am I cavalier? Maybe (*pops labcoat collar*). But the odds of getting the infection are extremely low, and there just isn’t much you can do if you don’t like boiled basil.
If you do happen upon some bad snow peas, give Remedy a call. A quick test will confirm the diagnosis, and get you the antibiotics that will speed your recovery.
And if Cyclospora tries to friend you on Facebook, you know what to do.