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What is Cyclospora?

Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts Photo: CDC

This summer, a large recall was issued because of an outbreak of Cyclospora found in salads sold at a major fast food chain. A total of 511 laboratory-confirmed cases were identified.

Cyclospora in a microscopic parasite that is typically found in contaminated water or food. When ingested, it causes an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis. It is unlikely to pass from person to person.

The primary symptom with this illness is diarrhea, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, nausea, and fatigue. If not treated, the illness could last from a few days to a month or longer. Seek medical help to receive care.

Learn more about this outbreak and about Cyclospora at and


About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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