The Virginia Department of Health has identified three workplace cafeterias – two in Northern Virginia and one in Richmond – that appear to be at the root of at least some of the 39 confirmed cases of “Cyclosporiasis” in Virginia.
Since May 1, 2019, there have been 39 confirmed cases of Cyclosporiasis across the state. The condition is the result of a microscopic parasite that causes intestinal distress. Recent cases include 27 in Northern Virginia, four in central Virginia and eight in other parts of the state, according to a VDH news release.
There have been only about nine cases, on average, during the same time frame in each of the last five years, the VDH said.
The spike was first identified in Northern Virginia in mid-June. The department of health investigation has found another outbreak in Central Virginia.
A food or water source of these outbreaks has not yet been identified, but cafeterias at three businesses are part of the ongoing investigation: the Capital One Building at 1600 Capital One Drive in McLean; the Valo Park Building at 7950 Jones Branch Drive in McLean; and the CarMax at 12800 Tuckahoe Creek Parkway in Richmond.
The cafeterias are not widely accessible to the general public, but health department officials are working directly with business owners and affected individuals.
“They share our goal of ensuring the health and well-being of their employees and guests,” the release said.
Public health investigations are complex and it takes time to gather information about exposures, risk factors and illnesses. In some cases outbreak investigations may not identify a likely source, the release said.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of Cyclosporiasis should visit their healthcare provider. They can test for Cyclospora and prescribe the correct treatment. Physicians will report cases to the health department, the release said.