Still on the Case Fulton and GDPH Tracking Cause of Abdominal Illness | Print |

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness and the Georgia Department of Public Health are continuing to gather information in their investigation of the possible Cyclospora parasite contamination of food served to the public.   They are gathering information from residents who believe they may have been stricken with cyclosporiasis.    

They are also working to confirm the laboratory reports of those who have tested positive for the parasite.   As of this morning, 100 people had responded to the health departments’ request to call in and complete a survey.     Georgia DPH is summarizing the survey data and we will report conclusive findings as quickly as possible.  

Cyclospora is a parasite that infects people through contaminated food or water. Cyclospora is the parasite that causes the illness cyclosporiasis. Past documented outbreaks have been associated with salad mix, fresh herbs (cilantro and basil), and berries (fresh and frozen).  Past outbreak investigations have shown that the parasite can contaminate fresh produce through irrigation with contaminated water.  Washing fresh produce may help but likely cannot eliminate the risk for infection.  The parasite causes watery diarrhea and severe abdominal cramping and can cause an illness that waxes and wanes over several weeks.  The incubation period—the time from exposure to illness onset—averages about one week but can range from 2-14 days.  Testing and treatment are available.  Cyclospora has a complicated life cycle that makes transmission from an infected food handler unlikely.

Individuals who believe they became sick after eating at a particular restaurant are encouraged to report this information.   You may call 866-PUBHLTH, that’s 866-782-4584, orcontact the Environmental Health Services Division of the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness at 404-613-1303.   You will find more information about the Cyclospora parasite on this Georgia Department of Public Health website:

http://dph.georgia.gov/sites/dph.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/EnvHealthContactInformation.pdf