Well Being

Am I Overreacting Or Will This Mysterious Stomach Bug Outbreak Kill Us All?

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clean-room-pandemicThe party's over, gang. The pandemic we've all been desperately avoiding has broken out and surprisingly enough, I was not case zero.

It's called Cyclosporiasis and I'm about 100% sure we will all have it by the end of the day. Don't kiss anyone goodbye*, it will just make the zombie virus spread faster.

Those infected thus far live in the following states: Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Experts are not sure if and how any of the cases are linked, but I suspect it has something to do with aliens, zombies, nanobots or ancient curses.

Though the bug is typically found in tropical climates and not Connecticut, the people affected by the outbreak did not have a history of international travel in the past few weeks, which adds to the mystery and also supports my hypothesis that there's sorcery at work.

So far, 250 people have reported as symptomatic and 10 have been hospitalized. Allegedly there are more people sick with cyclosporiasis out there, but they haven't reported it since the bug is “difficult to detect.”

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating the gravity of the bug. Maybe it won't totally wipe out the human race or turn us into the mindless undead, but it will totally ruin your chill summer vibes. Symptoms include: watery diarrhea, cramping, bloating, fatigue, and weight loss. These symptoms can last up to a month–maybe I wasn't really exaggerating the gravity, watery diarrhea for a month is almost exactly like dying. If you've had any of those symptoms for more than a few days, turn off the internet and get your butt to a doctor.

Here's what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had to say about this horrifying pandemic that will eventually lead to the demise of the human race:

On June 28, 2013, CDC was notified of 2 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection in Iowa residents who had become ill in June and did not have a history of international travel during the 14 days before the onset of illness.Since that date, CDC has been collaborating with public health officials in multiple states and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of cyclosporiasis.

And some preliminary details from the CDC (they lovingly classify these as “highlights”):

Epidemiologic Investigation

  • As of July 24, 2013 (5pm EDT), CDC has been notified of 285 cases of Cyclospora infection in residents of multiple states, including Iowa, NebraskaTexas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Ohio. Illinois and Kansas have also notified CDC of one case each that may have been acquired out of state but in the United States.
  • Most of the illness onset dates have ranged from mid-June through early July.
  • At least 18 persons reportedly have been hospitalized in three states.
  • No food items have been implicated to date, but public health authorities are pursuing all leads. Previous outbreak investigations have implicated various types of fresh produce.
  • It is not yet clear whether the cases from all of the states are part of the same outbreak.
  • No common events (e.g., social gatherings) have been identified among the case patients.
  • Additional cases are currently under investigation and will be included on this page as states confirm them.

*JK it's not spread person to person, but rather through a parasite often ingested by consuming fresh produce.

Info via the CDC and The Stir