In Canada, a total of 83 cases have been reported in British Columbia (3), Alberta (1), Ontario (74), and Quebec (5). Two cases have been hospitalized, and are recovered or recovering. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between May 9 and July 18, 2015. To date, no source has been identified. The investigation is ongoing. The majority of cases of cyclosporiasis in this outbreak were ill in late June and early July, with the last case reported illness onset being July 18.
Previous foodborne illness outbreaks of Cyclospora, in Canada and US have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce, such as pre-packaged salad mix, basil, cilantro, berries, mesclun lettuce and snow peas. To date, no multi-jurisdictional outbreaks have been linked to produce grown in Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada to investigate 83 Canadian cases of Cyclospora infections in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. The source of this outbreak is not yet known, and the Agency and its partners continue to investigate.
The risk to Canadians is low, but people with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are at increased risk for developing complications if they get sick. In Canada and the US, past foodborne outbreaks of Cyclospora have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce.
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. Cyclospora is most common in certain tropical and subtropical countries and regions. In Canada, non-travel related illnesses due to Cyclospora occur more frequently in the spring and summer months. lllnesses among travellers can happen at any time of year.
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