By: Candess Zona-Mendola, MakeFoodSafe

The Hidalgo County Health has announced that the state of Texas is in the middle of a cyclospora outbreak.

Cyclospora oocysts
Oocysts of C. cayetanensis viewed under differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy.
Image/CDC DPDx

The health department confirmed that over 300 people have tested positive for the parasite in Texas. More than 70 cases of these cyclosporiasis cases have been reported to the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services office, according to chief administrative officer Eddie Olivarez said Monday. Olivarez also noted:

“It’s a public health concern we not only have in the Rio Grande Valley, but in the state of Texas, and even throughout the nation,” Olivarez said. “We’ve had over 70 cases in Hidalgo County; over 300 cases in the state of Texas and there’s over 1,200 cases in the United States. So much so, that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is concerned about it and putting out alerts in reference to this particular parasite.”

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The source of the outbreak has not yet been identified, and the investigation is ongoing. In the meantime, the health agency recommends, if you believe you are sick with cyclospora, seek urgent medical attention. Raspberries, basil, cilantro, fruit and veggie trays, and snow peas have all been vehicles for the spread of cyclospora in past outbreaks.

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