Feeling a little under the weather? There have been a handful of illnesses related to a parasite in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. While there hasn't been a ton of cases in our neck of the woods, you should definitely make note of this and be extra cautious in the meantime.

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The parasite is called Cyclospora cayetanensis and while there are not a ton of details about where the parasitic outbreak happened, the illness has been reported in thirty-one states across the country. Most of the cases are in the eastern part of the country, along with Texas and Colorado.

What causes cyclosporiasis?

The latest update, which came out in mid-July of this year, says that between one and ten cases of the illness have been reported in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. The exact cause of the outbreak is also not known. Cyclospora cayetanensis can be spread through fecal matter contamination in food and water, and by eating certain types of vegetables.

What are the symptoms?

So how bad is the illness? Cyclospora cayetanensis causes diarrhea, according to the CDC. Other symptoms include cramping, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue and a loss of appetite. The illness can last for a few weeks to a month. If it is left untreated, it can return later. That is why you want to see a doctor if you are feeling ill.

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The good news is that no deaths have been reported in relation to this parasitic outbreak. At the time of writing, fifty-five people have been hospitalized. The investigation of the outbreak started in May after receiving reports of the illness in April.

Why is this outbreak happening now?

Why now? According to the CDC, spring and summer months usually bring about an increase in cyclosporiasis, with reports really starting to rise in May, as is the case here. Cases often peak in June and July so fingers crossed this starts to tame down here. It should be noted that cases sometimes do continue into September.

What is the treatment?

If you are a healthy individual without a weakened immune system, you should recover just fine. If needed, your doctor can also prescribe you an antibiotic to make you feel better. While cases are low in Minnesota and Wisconsin, there is still time for more cases to pop up so wash your hands and wash all your fruits and vegetables.

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