There have been at least two cases of Cyclospora reported in Alberta.
Cyclospora infections are being investigated by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada and multiple provincial health partners in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
It is unclear at this time what the source of the outbreak is however imported fresh produce products are items of interest in the ongoing investigation.
This infection is not common in Canadian foods, nor is it found in our drinking water.
What is Cyclospora?
Cyclospora is a microscopic single-celled parasite that is passed in people’s feces. If it comes in contact with food or water, it can infect the people who consume it. This causes an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis.The Public Health Agency of Canada
The parasite is most common in tropical and subtropical countries such as Peru, Cuba, India, Nepal, and Mexico, to name a few.
How many cases?
A total of 51 cases were reported in Canada. 44 of which were reported in Ontario, 4 in Quebec, 2 in Alberta and 1 in British Columbia. 51% of all cases were male, the other 49% female. The average age for reported cases is 49 years old.
At this time there are no multi-jurisdictional outbreaks of Cyclospora which have been linked to produce grown in Canada.
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Where is Cyclospora most commonly found?
Previous cases of Cyclospora in Canada and the US were linked to various types of imported fresh produce such as pre-packaged salad mix, basil, cilantro, raspberries and blackberries, to name a few.
You can reduce your risk of getting Cyclospora by cooking produce imported from countries where Cyclospora is found, and by consuming fresh produce grown in countries where Cyclospora is not common such as Canada, the US, and European countries.
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The Government of Canada is committed to food safety. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads human health investigations of outbreaks and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address outbreaks.Public Health Agency of Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada will update the public when new information becomes available. We here at Edmonton Talks News will try our best to keep you notified as well.
If you would like more information or the latest update, you are free to call the Public Health Agency of Canada at their toll-free public inquiry line 1.866.225.0709 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written by Jody Mitoma.