Outbreaks of the parasitic infection, cyclosporiasis, have been recorded in the United States during each of the last three years accounting for hundreds of cases each year.
Each of those outbreak have been linked to fresh produce, to include cilantro from the Puebla region of Mexico and Texas has recorded a good portion of the cases.
So far in 2016, Texas has reported 72 cases of Cyclospora infection, including 55 just in the last month, according to an emailed statement to Outbreak News Today from Texas Department of State Health Services Press Officer, Christine Mann today.
She said that the total number of cases also includes those with a history of travel indicating the parasite was acquired outside of Texas.
Mann notes that health officials suspect it is foodborne (likely a fresh produce item) but investigators are looking at all possible exposures.
Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms.
If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse). It’s common to feel very tired.
The recommended treatment is a combination of two antibiotics, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, also known as Bactrim, Septra, or Cotrim. People who have diarrhea should also rest and drink plenty of fluids.
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