The number of cyclosporiasis cases reported in Texas this year-to-date has eclipsed the total cases reported in 2016, according Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) data Aug. 1.
To date, 160 cases have been reported. There were 148 cases of cyclosporiasis in Texas reported last year.
Harris and Bexar counties have reported the most cases with 42 and 23 cases, respectively.
LISTEN: Parasites 101: Cyclospora
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.
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.
Past outbreaks in the U.S. have been associated with consumption of imported fresh produce, including fresh pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, basil, snow peas, and mesclun greens. Texas has had multiple outbreaks linked to cilantro.
The investigation is ongoing.
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