Seasonal outbreaks of Cyclospora infection in UK travellers returning from Mexico have been reported, with the majority of cases in travellers who have stayed in the Riviera Maya and Cancun regions of Mexico. The source of infection was likely to be contaminated food items supplied to hotels throughout the area.
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a protozoan parasite that can infect humans, causing frequent, watery diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea, flatulence, low-grade fever and loss of both appetite and weight. HIV-positive individuals and those with other immune deficiencies can be at risk of more severe infection.
On return from Mexico, travellers with any symptoms such as those described should seek medical attention and inform their GP of their travel history.
Healthcare practitioners should raise awareness of Cyclospora infection with all travellers to Mexico, and should strongly advise that travellers maintain a high standard of food, water and personal hygiene, even if staying in high-end resorts.
For further information on protozoan parasitic infection, including Cyclospora, consult TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public).
Sources: TRAVAX and fitfortravel (both 10 June 2019)