State Health Department Sees Rise in Cyclospora Cases; More than 50 Sickened

Leslie Hanson
July 6, 2018

And the summer of 2018 continues this unfortunate trend.

A produce parasite called cyclospora is being blamed for causing illness among at least 56 people across Texas this year, according to state health officials. Last year, more than 1000 people were sickened with cyclosporiasis in an outbreak that was never solved; 319 of those patients lived in Texas.

This infection is generally not transmitted directly from person-to-person.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. "It does make it a little bit hard to try and find that common source", she said.

Previous outbreaks have been linked to the consumption of fresh raspberries, cilantro, basil, snow peas and lettuce. Other symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, bloating, abdominal cramps, increased gas, vomiting, nausea, and low fever. "This Texas cyclospora outbreak happens every year", said attorney Fred Pritzker.

Texas has issued a Cyclospora Health Advisory to all healthcare providers in the state.

Officials say symptoms may come and go multiple times over a period of weeks or months.

"The one thing you can do is make sure you thoroughly wash your produce before using it", Houston Health Department spokesman Scott Packard said. Cooking however, will kill the parasite. If anyone presents with diarrhea that lasts more than a few days, or diarrhea that is accompanied by fatigue or weight loss, they should be checked for the parasite.

Additional information about Cyclospora is available here.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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