Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

What are the symptoms of Cyclosporias? Parasite infects dozens in Texas

This is the sixth consecutive year that the Texas health department has recorded a large number of illnesses from Cyclospora.

And the summer of 2018 continues this unfortunate trend.

A nasty little parasite has reared its ugly head in Texas, prompting a public health investigation.

This infection is generally not transmitted directly from person-to-person.

Dozens of people in Texas have been sickened by a parasite called Cyclospora in recent months, health officials announced this week.

Cyclosporiasis is most common in tropical and subtropical countries, so people living in or traveling to these areas may be at increased risk for infection, the CDC says.

Healthcare providers and laboratories are required to report confirmed cyclosporiasis cases to their respective local health department.

Texas has reported multiple outbreaks linked to cilantro. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. Fruits and veggies like cilantro, pre-packed salad, basil and raspberries were listed among the most susceptible to the parasite. Symptoms can last for weeks or months and can recur.

Everyone is urged to thoroughly wash all fresh produce before they consume it, but officials warn that may not entirely eliminate the risk because Cyclospora can be very hard to wash off.

Cooking will kill this parasite. If anyone presents with diarrhea that lasts more than a few days, or diarrhea that is accompanied by fatigue or weight loss, they should be checked for the parasite.

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