There is a new stomach bug making its way around the U.S. that has affected more than 250 people and hospitalized at least 10. Doctors are saying it’s difficult to detect the new bug, known as Cypress 4, so many more people may have been or are currently have this new mysterious strain of Cyclospora.
According to the Center for Disease Control, cases of this bug have been reported in Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, cramping, bloating, fatigue, and weight loss, and they can last for more than a month.
Just what we all asked for in the midst of summer, eh? Imagine being holed up in your steamy house with that mess on the loose? Unfortunately it’s struck mostly the East Coast and lower half of the country where temperatures have been spiking over 100 degrees in some areas.
The (sort of) good news is that this new bug isn’t airborne or spread person-to-person. Rather, it’s a parasite that infests mostly fresh produce and is spread when the person eats or drinks an infested food. The parasite is normally found overseas in tropical climates, so doctors are perplexed as to how it could have affected so many people here. None of those affected reported any international travel in the weeks before they became ill.
If you suspect that you or a member of your family may be infected with Cypress 4, you should ask your doctor to run a particular test that has proven to identify the parasite. There is an antibiotic that can treat it as well, but since the test is not included in a doctor’s normal arsenal, it is important that concerned patients ask for the one specific to detecting Cypress 4.