Less than two weeks after issuing a health advisory, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is reporting 145 cases of infection with the parasite, Cyclospora.
Counties hardest hit include Harris (35), Bexar (21) and Tarrant (14).
Long-lasting illnesses caused by the parasite, with symptoms like watery diarrhea, loss of appetite and fatigue, have been seen in various parts of the state and have prompted public health experts to advise health care providers and the public to be aware of the symptoms and pursue testing when needed.
Past outbreaks have been associated with imported fresh produce, and disease investigators are busy gathering information about the current illnesses as they attempt to determine whether there is a common source for the current outbreak.
Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the microscopic Cyclospora parasite. The main symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. Symptoms may come and go multiple times over a period of weeks or months.
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