July 10, 2020

Texas Cyclospora Outbreak Increases to 197 Sick

The cyclospora outbreak in Texas has now sickened at least 197 people, according to an update by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The counties with the most ill people are Bexar, with 25, Dallas, with 12, Harris, with 54, Tarrant, with 18, and Travis, with 14.

Woman Stomach Ache

Cyclospora parasites are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the globe. This parasite causes an intestinal illness when a person eats food or drinks water contaminated with the oocyst.

The main symptoms of cyclosporiasis include watery diarrhea that is profuse and can be explosive, weight loss, fatigue, abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and a low fever. People can be sick for weeks, and the illness can recur over a time span of months. This infection is not transmitted person-to-person, since the oocyte must mature outside of the body before it becomes infectious.

Outbreaks in previous years have been linked to fresh produce, raspberries, cilantro, basil, mesclun greens, and snow peas. There have been outbreaks in this state every summer for quite a few years. Officials do not know what is causing this particular outbreak, but are investigating.

It’s difficult to protect yourself against this illness. Cooking will kill the parasite, but that eliminates salads and other fresh produce. You can thoroughly wash all produce you buy, but the parasite is very difficult to remove from fruits and vegetables.

This particular outbreak started in mid-June 2017. If you have been experiencing the symptoms of cyclosporiasis, see your doctor. Treatment is available, although some people can’t tolerate it. In that case, observation and palliative care is given.

There is another cyclospora outbreak in the United States. The CDC reported it this week as part of a Health Advisory through the Health Alert Network. As of August 2, 20107, 206 cases have been reported to the CDC. This outbreak began on May 1, 2017. Patients are ill in 27 states; most states have reported relatively few cases. Eighteen people have been hospitalized in this outbreak.

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 and their families, including the largest verdict in American history for a person 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 the New York Times, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, the firm represents people harmed by pathogenic microorganisms in Legionnaires‘ disease, surgical site infections, and product liability cases.

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