New Stomach Bug Outbreak Spreading Across the Country: What You Need to Know

stomach bugHere's a big summer bummer for you -- there's a mysterious new stomach bug known as Cypress 4 spreading across the United States. So far it's sickened more than 250 people and sent at least 10 people to the hospital. And that's just the people that we know about. Experts say it's difficult to detect, so there are likely many more cases out there.

Great. Just when we're fully enjoying the glorious days of summer -- a stomach bug is the last thing we need. I think of the family vacations that will be interrupted, and the days meant to be spent at the pool or beach spent hovering near a restroom. While outbreaks are never welcome, they're at least easier to accept when they don't come when we most want to be outside. But here we are, and here's what you need to know about this bad bug.

According to the CDC, cases of the Cyclospora infection 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.

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The good news is that the disease isn't spread from person to person. Rather it's a parasite that's usually spread by people eating or drinking something -- often fresh produce. It's typically found overseas in tropical climates, but the puzzling thing about this outbreak is that the people affected didn't have a history of international travel in the weeks before they fell ill. It's also not know if the outbreaks are linked.

While they attempt to figure it out, be on the lookout for any signs of it in your family. According to ABC, anyone who has had these symptoms for more than a few days should ask their doctor about the possibility of being infected with the bug. Apparently there's a special test they can do, and if you do prove to have it there's an antibiotic that will help rid you of the symptoms. But since it's a new outbreak, and not something typically tested for, you need to ask.

Have any of your family members been affected by this stomach bug?

 

Image via ABC

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