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Cyclospora Infection in the UK (Ex Mexico)

20 Jul 2016

During June and July 2016, we have started to see an increase in travel associated cases of Cyclospora infection in UK travellers returning from Mexico. This is not entirely unusual, since a rise in UK cases was reported around the same time last year, associated with travel to Mexico. Health Protection Scotland is working closely with Public Health England other local and UK wide partners to investigate the situation.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a 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. The infection can be treated with antibiotics.