MN Health Dept. saw 550% increase in Cyclospora cases in 2018

The Minnesota Department of Health reported a huge spike in Cyclospora cases in 2018. Cyclospora is a parasite that infects people when they consume contaminated food or water.

According to the Minnesota Public Health Laboratory Annual Report, the Infectious Disease Laboratory saw 24 cases of Cyclospora in 2017. Then, in 2018, the lab saw 156 cases.

Cyclospora, or Cyclospora cayetanesis, infects people when they consume contaminated food or water, generally raw produce. Symptoms include severe diarrhea, cramping and more.

In 2018, the lab started using a new DNA fingerprinting method developed by the CDC that can identify the differences between Cyclospora strains. Through this method, officials were able to identify five outbreaks.

One of the outbreaks, which took place in June 2018, was linked to contaminated veggie trays sold at Kwik Trip gas stations.

For more information on the department's findings, click here.