October 18, 2017

Texas Cyclospora Outbreak Climbs to 160 Sick

The Cyclospora outbreak in Texas has now sickened at least 160 people, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Department. There has been a cyclospora outbreak in the United States every summer for the past few years. Last year there was a downtick in cases, which the FDA has attributed to increased import inspections and import alerts.

Woman Stomach Ache

But this new outbreak is much bigger than last year’s. The illnesses started in mid-June 2017.

The cyclospora parasite causes a long lasting illness that can recur for months. Symptoms include watery and explosive diarrhea, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Health care providers are being told to watch for these symptoms and to test patients when needed.

Past outbreaks have all been associated with imported fresh produce. Officials are investigating the outbreak and interviewing patients to see if they can find a common source for the illnesses.

The case count by county is wide-ranging. Counties with the most patients include Bexar (23), Dallas (10), Harris (42), Tarrant (14), and Travis (10). DSHS will update the case count every Tuesday and Friday during the outbreak.

If you have been experiencing the symptoms of cyclosporiasis, see your doctor. When more people are tested and interviewed, investigators may be able to determine how the outbreak started and how to stop it.

Cyclospora is a single-cell parasite that is spread by people eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with feces. The oocyst is in the feces, and it needs days or weeks after it is expelled from a body to become infectious. When feces contaminates food or water, the oocyst sporulates after a short period of time. Human to human transmission of this parasite doesn’t occur for this reason.

Cyclospora causes about 16,000 cases of foodborne illness in the United States every year. Previous outbreaks have been linked to raspberries, cilantro, basil, and mesclun lettuce.

Bad Bug Law Team | Pritzker Law Firm

If you or a loved one contracted a Cyclospora infection, contact the lawyers from our experienced legal team for help at 1-888-377-8900.

Pritzker Hageman, America’s food safety law firm, successfully helps and represents people hurt by adulterated foods in outbreaks throughout the United States. Its lawyers have won hundreds of millions of dollars for foodborne illness patients, including the largest verdict in American history in a lawsuit for a child harmed by E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome. The firm also publishes Food Poisoning Bulletin, a respected Google News source for food safety news and information. Pritzker Hageman lawyers are often interviewed as experts on the topic by major news outlets including CNN, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

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