August 23, 2014

Cyclsospora Sickens Dozens in NY

Cyclospora outbreak in NY

Dozens of New Yorkers have contracted parasitic infections this summer from contaminated food. At least 29 cases of cyclospora infection have been reported in New York since June.  Nineteen of the cases were reported in the city, 10 throughout the rest of the state. Other states have also reported spikes in cases of cyclosporiasis, the infection caused by cyclospora, a rare parasite normally associated with travel to tropical regions. Since June, roughly 300 cases of cyclosporiasishave been reported from more than a dozen states including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas and Washington.  Health authorities have not yet identified a food source in any of the affected states, nor have they been able to … [Read more...]

Cyclospora in Texas Sickens 164

cyclospora texas

At least 164 people in Texas have Cyclopora infections, according to the latest update from the Texas Department of State Health Services. An increase in cases of cyclosporiasis has been reported from counties all over the state since mid-June. Dallas county has been hit hardest with 35 cases, Tarrant has reported 18, Harris has 13, Bexar and Collin both have 11. These counties include San Antonio and the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. By county, the cases are as follows: Aransas 1, Bexar 11, Camp 2, Collin 11, Comal 3, Dallas 35, Denton 8, El Paso 1, Ellis 4, Erath 3, Fort Bend 2, Galveston 1, Gonzales 1, Harris 13, Hays 1, Hidalgo 1, Hood 1, Hunt 1, Jefferson 1, Johnson 2, Kaufman 3, Kendall 1, Lee 1, Lynn 1, McLennan 1, Montgomery 2, Navarro 1, Nueces 2, Parker 2, Rockwall … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Sickens 160 in Texas

Cyclospora Parasites

At least 160 people in Texas have contracted cyclospora infections from an unknown food source, according to the latest update from the Texas Department of State Health Services.  A surge in cases of cyclosporiasis has been reported in 18 other states including California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Cyclospora, a parasite normally associated with tropical or subtropical climates, sickened 631 people in 2013, hospitalizing 49. Produce imported from Mexico was identified as the source of most of those illnesses. Cyclospora is transmitted via the fecal-oral route, meaning microscopic amounts of fecal matter from an infected person contaminate … [Read more...]

Parasites That Cause Foodborne Illness and Death

toxoplasma

Foodborne parasites can cause serious illness and death. Last summer, a cyclospora outbreak sickened at least 631 people in 25 states. This summer, the single-celled parasite is back with cases of infection reported in at least 13 states, including Texas where 155 people have become ill. Despite the recent outbreaks, cyclosporiasis is not a common parasitic infection in the U.S. Two other parasites, most commonly found in pork, beef and game are leading causes foodborne seizures and death, according to a recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations ranked the top 10 foodborne parasites worldiwde. Neurocysticercosis is the leading cause of seizures from infectious disease. Every year, about 2,000 Americans are diagnosed with neurocysticercosis, which is … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Sickens 155 in Texas

Cyclospora outbreak in NY

Cyclospora has sickened at least 155 people in Texas since mid-June, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. Health officials have not yet determined the food source behind the outbreak. Past outbreaks have been linked to fresh produce including raspberries, snow peas, basil, cilantro, mesclun and salad. Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off, but washing produce under cold running water and then drying it is one of the best ways to reduce contamination from parasites and bacteria. The cyclospora  parasite is transmitted when an infected person passes immature oocysts in their stools which then contact food. If the oocysts are ingested in their immature state, they do not cause illness. However, if they have a chance to mature while on food and are then ingested, … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Sickens A Dozen in Massachusetts

Cyclospora outbreak in NY

At least a dozen people in Massachusetts were stricken with cycslospora infections in July, according to the state's Department of Public Health. Typically, less than five cases are reported annually in that state. Health authorities don't know what food source has been contaminated with the parasite which is normally associated with travel to tropical or subtropical regions. In the past, cyclospora outbreaks have been linked to imported produce items including , snow peas, basil, cilantro, mesclun and salad. Massachusetts is one of several states experiencing a cyclospora outbreak for the second straight year. Last summer, outbreaks in 25 states sickened 631 people. This summer, at least 12 states have reported spikes in cases of cyclsporiasis. Symptoms of an infection include … [Read more...]

How Cyclospora Parasite Gets on Food, Causes Illness

Cyclospora

Cyclospora, a single-celled parasite that can cause months of illness, is considered a rare parasite in the United States, but for folks in some states its becoming a little too familiar. Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Texas have had cyclospora outbreaks for two straight summers. Mayland, Montana and Oregon missed last summer's outbreaks that sickened at least 631 people, but they are getting to know about the little bug this summer as they investigate spikes in reported illnesses. So, how is this rare parasite, normally associated with tropical climates, making its was onto our food an into the headlines? Cyclospora is transmitted when an infected person passes immature oocysts in their stools. If these oocysts make … [Read more...]

Michigan Cyclospora Cluster Sickens Three

Cyclospora outbreak in NY

Three people in Michigan have confirmed cases of cyclospora infection, the Michigan Department of Community Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. A food source for the cluster of illnesses, concentrated in the southeastern part of the state, has not yet been identified. Spikes in cases of cyclosporiasis, the infection caused by the rare cyclospora parasite, have been reported in 18 other states this summer. In Texas, 124 cases from 31 counties have been reported since mid-June. Health authorities have not yet identified a food source in any of the affected states, nor have they been able to determine which, if any, of the cases may be related. Food sources for past outbreaks have been: restaurant salad, cilantro, basil, raspberries, mesclun and snow peas. Last year,  a 25-state … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Can Survive Freezing Temps

raspberry-cyclospora-cake

Although cyclospora is associated with subtropical and tropical climates, the hardy parasite can survive periods of freezing temperatures. Killing cyclospora with cold temperatures requires that it be frozen for 24 to 48 hours at temperatures between 24.8˚ F and -4˚F  or lower, according to the Guide for Foodborne Pathogens. At freezing temperatures above 25˚ F,  cyclospora can survive. That was was the case in June 2000, when an outbreak in Philadelphia was linked to raspberries in a wedding cake. After illnesses were reported and stool specimens from wedding guests collected and tested positive for the parasite, epidemiological testing confirmed the presence of cyclospora in the cake. Raspberries imported from Guatemala were the only produce ingredient used to make the wedding cake. … [Read more...]

Could Cilantro Be Source of Texas Cyclospora Outbreak, Again?

Cilantro could be source of cyclospora outbreak in TX

Cilantro imported from Mexico could be the food source of a cyclospora outbreak in Texas for the second straight year. Studies have shown that cyclospora oocysts can survive for extended periods of time in certain environments. The 2013 cyclopora outbreak sickened more than 270 Texans. Many of those cases were attributed to cilantro imported from Mexico that was served at restaurants and sold at a grocery store. The names of those establishments were never released. Health authorities have not identified the food source of this year’s outbreak, which has sickened 110 Texans so far this summer. Cases have been reported from the following counties: Aransas (1), Bexar (5), Collin (4), Dallas (21), Denton (2), El Paso (1), Ellis (3), Erath (2), Galveston (1), Harris (8), Hays … [Read more...]

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