Stomach bug swarming the US - FOX Carolina 21

Stomach bug swarming the US

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

You've seen those irritating bugs buzzing around, now there's a new parasite - one you can't see with the naked eye, but will certainly feel when it hits you.

"I think there are always bugs going around. I'm actually a teacher, so I'm in the classroom and I'm constantly exposed to germs," Natalie Barrineau said.

She's now aware of the bug known as the cyclospora infection, an illness doctors said we get when we eat and drink contaminated food or water.

"I feel like it's a good practice to have to wash off your fruits and veggies. I've even heard can tops before too because you never know what's in those," Barrineau said.

And that's how Danny Summers feels about it too.

"I even wash carrots or whatever I get out of a bag. It's just something I think you should do. I want to certainly make sure that I clean all of my produce all of my vegetables," Summers said.

Doctors with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nearly 300 people in more than seven states, including Georgia are infected. However, it hasn't hit Carolinas.

"It looks like the majority of the infection is centered in the Midwest," Dr. Frank Beacham said.

He specializes in family medicine with MD360 which is part of the Greenville Health System.

"Folks become symptomatic with it in about seven days after they come in contact with it," Beacham said.

He said symptoms include severe diarrhea which is different than a 24-hour bug.

"Sometimes they say that it's the worst case they've ever felt of it. Some nausea, some vomiting- we're looking also for fever," Beacham said.

And if you think the bug bit you, call your doctor.

Doctors said the cyclospora infection is usually seen in tropical countries. They said be sure to wash your hands and cook your food thoroughly before you eat it.

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