Epidemiological information: Outbreak of Cyclospora infections

Related Public Health Notice

October 11, 2017

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.

Figure 1. Number of people infected with Cyclospora acquired locallyFugure 1 footnote *

Figure 1
Figure 1. Number of people infected with Cyclospora acquired locally - Text Equivalent
Number of people infected with Cyclospora acquired locallyFugure 1 table footnote *
Week of symptom onset or specimen collection Number of cases
30-Apr-2017 2
7-May-2017 2
14-May-2017 8
21-May-2017 7
28-May-2017 22
4-June-2017 24
11-June-2017 14
18-June-2017 12
25-June-2017 11
2-July-2017 14
9-July-2017 7
16-July-2017 6
23-July-2017 2
30-July-2017 1

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.

Table 1: At a Glance
Outbreak status Ongoing
Case count 164
Provinces/Territories 4
Hospitalizations 0
Deaths 0
Gender (m:f) 63 : 68
Age range in years 22-87
Recall No
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