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Texas Cyclosporiasis Outbreak Grows to 121 Patients

Filed July 13th, 2015 Julie Fidler

Texas Cyclosporiasis Outbreak Grows to 121 Patients

Texas Cyclosporiasis Outbreak Grows to 121 Patients

The number of individuals sickened by an outbreak of cyclosporiasis in Texas has grown to 121, and 109 of those cases have been reported in the past two weeks.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services said that most of the cases – 55 – are in Travis County. Eight are sick in Williamson County, six are sick in Dallas County, five in Harris County and four in Hays County.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the Cyclospora parasite. It is contracted by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the parasite. Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. A firm diagnosis requires three stool samples. The illness is not typically spread from person to person. The best way to avoid infection is to thoroughly wash all produce before consuming it.

Fresh raspberries, basil, snow peas, lettuce and pre-packaged salad mix have caused cyclosporiasis outbreaks in the past. Two-hundred people were sickened by the parasite last year in Texas. Some of those cases were linked with cilantro imported from Mexico’s Puebla region, Food Poisoning Bulletin reports.

Health care workers are urged to test patients for Cyclosporiasis if they present with diarrhea lasting more than a few days, or if they have diarrhea accompanied by weight loss or fatigue.

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