November 6, 2012, the CDC announced they had received reports from GeoSentinel1 of 55 cases of sarcocystosis that have been associated with 2012 summer travel to Tioman Island in Malaysia. Last year, 35 travelers returning from Tioman Island were similarly diagnosed with sarcocystosis.
What is Sarcocystosis?
According to the CDC:
“Sarcocystosis is a disease caused by a parasite called Sarcocystis. Sarcocystosis occurs in tropical or subtropical countries, including countries in Southeast Asia. This disease is common among wild and domestic animals but can also cause disease in humans. Two forms of the disease can occur: one causes diarrhea and the other causes muscle pain, fevers, and other symptoms. Muscle sarcocystosis is spread through the ingestion of food, water, or soil contaminated with infected animal feces. Many people infected with Sarcocystis may not have symptoms.
The travelers described in this notice returned from Malaysia with severe muscle pain. Other reported symptoms included mild diarrhea and fever. Most people were ill for 2-4 weeks after leaving the island.”