Spike in cyclospora cases has Texas doctors searching for source

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas Department of State Health Services says it is trying to track down the source that is causing a spike in cyclospora cases this summer.

Within the past month, there have been 68 reported cases of cyclospora infection. On Monday, the DSHS issued a health advisory recommending health care providers to test patients for the parasite cyclospora if they have diarrheal illness lasting more than a few days or diarrhea accompanied by severe loss of appetite or fatigue.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming contaminated water or food. Patients who contract cyclospora usually have watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months.

Although no common source has been identified by health officials, past outbreaks have been linked to imported fresh produce, including fresh cilantro, pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, snow peas and mesclun greens. Thorough washing of produce is recommended, but may not eliminate the risk because cyclospora can be difficult to watch off.

The DSHS reports there were 148 reported cases of cyclosporiasis in Texas last year.

In the summer of 2015, Travis County had 50 cyclospora cases due to an outbreak across Texas.

 

Article from KXAN.com


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