ROME, GA: The Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District is investigating reports of Cyclospora infection in Northwest Georgia.

In the U.S., people can get sick with cyclosporiasis by eating fresh produce that was grown outside the U.S. and contaminated with Cyclospora.  Cyclosporiasis causes an illness that can result in prolonged gastrointestinal (gut) distress, including watery diarrhea with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements that can last for weeks. In severe cases, Cyclospora infection can require hospitalization.

If you have had diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, or other gastrointestinal symptoms lasting longer than several days, public health officials urge you to talk to your healthcare provider. If not treated, cyclosporiasis can last a month or longer.  Symptoms may subside or go away and then return several times. Your healthcare provider can order testing to confirm the illness and may treat you with antibiotics.

Cyclospora infection can be mild or very serious. You are most at risk for a serious infection if you have a compromised (weakened) immune system, for instance, you are living with HIV/AIDS or cancer or taking immunosuppressive medications.

Cyclosporiasis is not contagious. There is no evidence it spreads from person to person. The public health officials say their investigation is ongoing and the number of cases is expected to increase.

For more information about cyclosporiasis, visit