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Have you been feeling tired lately? Do you push away plates of delicious food that you would have devoured a mere week or two ago? Is that fatigue and loss of appetite accompanied with stomach cramps and bloating? If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, we’re not-so-pleased to tell you that you just might have won the Cyclospora lottery.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, a microscopic single-celled foodborne parasite called Cyclospora is making the rounds in parts of Canada, including Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

“In Canada and the US, past foodborne outbreaks of Cyclospora have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce,” a notice from the agency states. “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.”

Most people infected with Cyclospora will experience:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • loss of appetite and weight loss
  • stomach cramps and nausea
  • abdominal bloating and increased gas
  • fatigue

To make matters even more stinky sticky, the parasite is passed in people’s feces, and if it comes in contact with food or water it can infect the people who consume it. So, what can you do? First, follow the general food safety tips (that you’re supposed to be doing anyway) i.e. wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them, wash your hands regularly, keep raw food away from other food while shopping, etc. If you think you have the illness, which if left untreated can last from a few days to several weeks, stay hydrated and pay a visit to a doctor immediately to get an antibiotic prescription.

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