Cyclospora outbreak in Texas sickens 56
An outbreak of illnesses in Texas directly related to the parasite Cyclospora has state health officials searching for its cause. Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) investigators are working with local health departments to pin down the source of the outbreak that has resulted in 56 cases of food poisoning across the state of Texas since May 2018.
DSHS issued a health advisory on June 21, 2018, urging healthcare providers to consider testing 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 food or water contaminated with the microscopic Cyclospora parasite, most likely as a result of poor food safety procedures. The main symptom of cyclosporiasis is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months.
Symptoms of cyclosporiasis usually begin 2 to 14 days after ingestion of Cyclospora in contaminated food or water. Watery diarrhea can last from a few days to weeks or months and affected patients may relapse. Symptoms may also include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting, and low-grade fever.
Cyclosporiasis is not new to the state of Texas. In 2017, there were 319 cases of illnesses related to the contamination. Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis are often related to imported fresh produce and, in fact, Texas has experienced several outbreaks in the past that were linked to cilantro. An unrelated outbreak of cyclosporiasis recently occurred in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan, when consumers ate contaminated pre-cut melons.
For more information about Texas Cyclospora outbreak, or the Cyclospora outbreaks in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan, please contact a