Epidemiological information: Outbreak of Cyclospora infections

September 1, 2016

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What is epidemiology?

Epidemiology is the study of disease in a population. Epidemiologists, or "disease detectives," use surveillance systems to identify those who are sick and confirm that the sick people are part of this event. They then gather information from the people who got sick and review the clues from all parts of the investigation that might reveal the cause of the illness event.

The figure below forms part of the epidemiological investigation into this outbreak. An "epi curve" (Figure 1) is a valuable reference tool in any epidemiological investigation. An epi curve shows when cases begin, when they peak, and when they trail off. Certain details of the people who got sick (Table 1) also help epidemiologists as they work to solve the questions involved in foodborne illness.

Data current as of August 31 at 14:00 ET

Figure 1. Number of people infected with Cyclospora cayetanensis

*Dates available for 80 cases

Figure 1. Number of people infected with Cyclospora cayetanensis

Text Equivalent - Figure 1Number of people infected with Cyclospora cayetanensis

Table 1 – People confirmed to be infected with Cyclospora cayetanensis by week of illness onset or specimen collection
Week of symptom onset or specimen collection Number of cases
01-May-2016 0
08-May-2016 0
15-May-2016 1
22-May-2016 2
29-May-2016 3
05-Jun-2016 5
12-Jun-2016 6
19-Jun-2016 9
26-Jun-2016 10
03-Jul-2016 13
10-Jul-2016 13
17-Jul-2016 10
24-Jul-2016 2
31-Jul-2016 4
07-Aug-2016 2
14-Aug-2016 0
21-Aug-2016 0
28-Aug-2016 0
Table 1: At a Glance
Outbreak status Ongoing
Case count 81
Provinces/Territories 4
Hospitalizations 1
Deaths 0
Gender (m:f)Footnote * 38:41
Age range in yearsFootnote ** 15-89(n=78)
Recall No

* Information available for 79 cases

** Information available for 78 cases


Note: It can take several weeks from the time a person becomes ill to when this illness is reported and testing confirms a link to the outbreak.

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