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Intestinal parasite infection turns up in KC area

Updated: 2013-07-27T00:04:46Z

Two cases of a parasite infection that can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms have been reported in Jackson and Taney counties, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Friday.

The health department is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether the Cyclospora infections are linked to an outbreak that has sickened more than 300 people in 14 states and New York City this summer.

One case has been identified in Kansas.

People can be infected by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. People in countries where the parasite is common may be at increased risk of infection. So far, the CDC has not implicated any specific foods as the source of the outbreak.

Cyclospora infects the small intestine and may cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and flu-like symptoms. It can be treated with a combination of antibiotics.

Alan Bavley, abavley@kcstar.com

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