Cyclospora parasite prompts public health investigation in Texas

Texas health officials warn of parasitic outbreak

Dozens Fall Ill in Texas Outbreak: What Is Cyclospora?

At least 56 people in Texas have been sickened by the parasite Cyclospora since May.

A nasty little parasite has reared its ugly head in Texas, prompting a public health investigation.

Past outbreaks in the USA have been associated with consumption of imported fresh produce, including fresh pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, basil, snow peas, and mesclun greens.

People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. Cyclospora generally lives on imported fresh produce, including fresh pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, basil and snow peas. Health officials have not determined whether that outbreak and the Texas outbreak have a common source. The symptoms, including diarrhea, can last from a few days to a few months.

Officials say symptoms may come and go multiple times over a period of weeks or months. Doctors don't usually check for this infection; the diagnosis is made by submission of stool specimens for "Ova and Parasite" testing.

People who have symptoms of cyclosporiasis should see their health care provider, the DSHS said in the statement.

Brazos County Health officials confirmed to KBTX on Tuesday that there have not been any reported cases in Brazos County at this time, however they warn this is an active outbreak and contracting it is possible if you are not careful. Patients are also encouraged to rest and take plenty of fluid.

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