December 7, 2021

Could Cilantro Be Source of Texas Cyclospora Outbreak, Again?

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.

cyclospora-outbreak-384The 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 (1), Hidalgo (1), Hunt (1), Jefferson (1),  Kaufman (3), Kendall (1), Lee (1), Lynn (1), Montgomery (1), Parker (2), Rockwall (1), San Patricio (2), Somervell (1), Sutton (1), Tarrant (11), Travis (2), Trinity (1), Webb (1), Williamson (3). Another 25 cases are pending or from unknown counties

Symptoms of a cyclospora infection, called cyclosporiasis, can last up to two months and include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. Vomiting, body aches, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms are also possible. It is normally treated with the antibiotic combination trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. If untreated, relapse is possible.

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