Stomach Bug Sickens People in More States

ABC News Videos

Mystery Stomach Bug Alert in Eight States

Mystery Stomach Bug Alert in Eight States

Mystery Stomach Bug Alert in Eight States

Now watching

Next video starts in : 7 Play

Mystery Stomach Bug Alert in Eight States

A parasite has sickened another 16 people, bringing the stomach bug outbreak total to 285 patients in 11 states as of Wednesday night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cyclospora, the one-celled parasite that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps and other symptoms normally associated with a viral stomach bug, is common in tropical regions like Latin America, but isn't typically seen in the United States, according to the CDC. Most of the people affected were in Iowa, Nebraska and Texas. New Jersey, Minnesota and Ohio are the latest states to report cyclospora cases.

"CDC really has their hands full with this one," said Dr. Richard Besser, chief health medical correspondent for ABC News. "It's hard to pick up so there's probably a lot more of this disease out there."

Because the illness doesn't spread from person to person, it's possible it came from contaminated food or water, said Dr. Nicole Bouvier, an infectious diseases professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. It's curable.

Cyclospora can seem like a stomach bug, but instead of going away within a few days, it hangs around. If you think you have it, Besser suggested alerting your doctor because he or she can do specific tests and prescribe an antibiotic that will rid your body of the microscopic pest.

Bouvier said, "Doctors can diagnose it by looking for either the parasite itself or eggs of the parasite in a stool sample. They have to do it with a microscope because it's tiny. You can't see it with your naked eye. It's not like a worm."

People with deficient immune systems should be extra careful, but it doesn't transmit person-to-person because it doesn't live on hands, Bouvier said. Therefore, if a whole family has cyclospora, it's because they ate or drank the same thing, not because they infected each other.

"The CDC has to find a connection between these people and, so far, they haven't figure out what links all these people together," Besser said.

The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating.

View Comments (466)

Recommended for You

  • White House Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Fight Zika Virus

    The Obama administration is requesting $1.8 billion in emergency funding from Congress to fight the Zika virus in the United States and abroad, the White House announced today. The request comes after lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged the White House to address the spread of the virus, which is…

    Good Morning America8 mins ago
  • WWE Wrestler Daniel Bryan to Retire

    Former WWE champion and professional wrestling star Daniel Bryan is retiring."Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I'll have a chance to elaborate. #gratitude," he tweeted on Monday.Read: Stone Cold Steve Austin: My Life After Pro…

    Good Morning America8 mins ago
  • Dad Tells Other Dads, 'Respect the Mother of Your Child' in Viral Facebook Post

    A U.K. dad’s advice to fellow dads “respect the mother of your child” has gone viral after being posted in a Facebook tribute to the mother of his 9-month-old son.Tony Emms, of Cresswell Northumberland, in the U.K., posted on Facebook last month a photo of his fiancé, Charlotte Sperry, sleeping…

    Good Morning America17 mins ago
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rocked by Hurricane-Force Winds Heads Back to New Jersey

    A Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds overnight is sailing back to port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The ship left from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas. The company posted a message on Twitter saying that all guests are…

    Good Morning America19 mins ago
  • Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

    If you drive less than 50 miles per day, there is a way to pay less for auto insurance that few people realize. Are you overpaying?

    Provide-SavingsSponsored
  • Super Bowl 50: Beyonce Takes Fans Behind the Scenes of Her Performance

    Although Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, all eyes were on Beyonce, who shared the stage with the British band along with pop star Bruno Mars.The singer, who announced her Formation World Tour right after the big game ended, is letting fans in on how her performance came…

    Good Morning America35 mins ago
  • Countdown to New Hampshire With 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primary

    Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary. With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case…

    Good Morning America36 mins ago
  • Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning 'Very Much at Peace'

    Peyton Manning says he’s “very much at peace” as he contemplates retirement from the NFL just hours after winning his second Super Bowl title. Manning, 39, finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards in the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s Super Bowl game at California’s Levi’s…

    Good Morning America43 mins ago
  • Chinese New Year Fireworks So Dangerous That Only a Few Get to Witness

    For much of the next two weeks, millions of Chinese will welcome in the Year of Monkey, which begins today, with a cavalcade of fireworks lighting up the night’s sky. In almost every corner of every city or village in Mainland China, families will light their own firecrackers and boxes of…

    Good Morning America43 mins ago
  • Panda Cub Bei Bei Climbs a Tree With the Help of His Mom

    Bei Bei is moving up in the world.The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda experienced the outdoors for the first time last week and now the nearly six-month-old cub is scaling trees—-with the help of his mom Mei Xiang, of course. The Washington DC based Zoo posted a video of the feat online this…

    Good Morning America44 mins ago
  • Paris Jackson Reveals Struggle With Alcoholism, Pressures of Fame

    Paris Jackson, the only daughter of music legend Michael Jackson, is apparently struggling with alcoholism.In a now-deleted, profanity-laced rant on Instagram, the 17-year-old told her followers that she was being attacked online."I am expected to literally sit … all day replying to comments people…

    Good Morning America
  • Russians Arrest 7 in Alleged ISIS-Related Terror Plot

    Russian security services have arrested seven people accused of plotting terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State in major Russian cities, the country’s FSB intelligence agency said today. The arrests were made in the city of Ekaterinburg, located in the Urals region on the edge of Siberia,…

    Good Morning America
  • Chipotle Temporarily Closes Restaurants for Company-Wide Meeting

    Chipotle restaurants across the nation are temporarily closing today in an effort to educate 60,000 employees about the food-borne illnesses that have rocked the company in recent months. Food safety protocols will also be explained in the meeting. To make up for the closures, Chipotle is…

    Good Morning America
  • Teresa Giudice Opens Up About Finances, Prison, Future in Exclusive Interview

    "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice opened up about her financial situation, her time in federal prison and what her future holds in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Amy Robach. "[We're not in] foreclosure any longer, thank you, God," Giudice said in the interview, airing…

    Good Morning America
  • Hillary Clinton Campaign Leans Heavily on Feminism to Make Case Against Bernie Sanders

    In the closing days before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton has been leaning heavily on feminism to make a case against her opponent Bernie Sanders. On Sunday, Bill Clinton unleashed a tirade aimed at people who he alleges are Sanders supporters who he said are making “vicious” and…

    Good Morning America
  • Child Returns Lost Wallet to Woman With Note: 'Hopefully, I Have Made You Smile'

    A California woman was moved last month after a child returned her lost wallet, along with an adorable note explaining why he did it. "It was just this simple act of kindness that just warms my heart," Taylor Sloan of Santa Rosa, California told ABC News.

    Good Morning America
  • 'Jason Bourne,' 'Captain America' and More Super Bowl Trailers

    Last night, the big game wasn't the only focus for fans. As always, the commercials were highly anticipated and none more than the big blockbuster trailers that dropped during Super Bowl 50.Matt Damon is back as "Jason Bourne" and Robert Downey Jr. has some choice words for a rogue Captain America…

    Good Morning America
  • Owner's Heartbreaking Letter Inspires Elderly Dog's Adoption After Living 5 Years in Shelter

    Roofus, a 10-year-old Weimaraner-mix, was first surrendered to the Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton, Florida, in October 2010. Then, sometime after the New Year, shelter employee Samantha Dominis and her fellow staffers came across the fateful letter, which was written by Roofus' original owners.

    Good Morning America