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Cyclospora Infection in the UK (Ex Mexico)

27 Jul 2015

During June and July 2015, an increase in cases of Cyclospora infection associated with travel to Mexico was reported in the UK. Health Protection Scotland is working closely with Public Health England other local and UK wide partners to investigate the incident.

As of 24 July 2015, a total of 21 cases have been reported in the UK. Health Protection Scotland has received notification of nine cases in Scotland. To date, no cases have been reported in Wales and Northern Ireland.

The majority of cases stayed in all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya and Playacar area on the coast of Quintana Roo state, south of Cancun. The source of infection is thought likely to be a foodstuff supplied to hotels throughout the area. The investigation is ongoing.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a protozoan parasite that infects humans and other primates. Infection can cause diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, nausea, flatulence, loss of appetite, fatigue, low-grade fever, and weight loss. HIV positive individuals and those with other immune deficiencies can be at risk of more severe infection.

Advice for Travellers

Infection is transmitted through consumption of food or water that is contaminated with human faeces containing Cyclospora. Travellers to Mexico are strongly advised to maintain a high standard of food and water hygiene and personal hygiene.

On return from Mexico, if you have any symptoms such as watery diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue and other flu-like symptoms you should seek medical attention and tell your GP about your travel history.