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Cyclosporiasis:  An intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis.

Data taken from

Texas Department of State Health Services

Cyclospora - June 24, 2015

A recent surge in reports of illnesses due to the parasite Cyclospora has prompted DSHS to investigate the infections in hopes of determining a common source.  DSHS has received reports of 54 Cyclosporiasis cases from around Texas this year, including 42 in the last week.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite.  The major symptoms is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months.  Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever.  People who think they may have a Cyclospora infection should contact their health care provider.

DSHS recommends thoroughly washing fresh produce, but that may not entirely eliminate the risk kbecause Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off.  Cooking will kill the parasite.

Las year, Texas had 200 cases, some of which were associated with cilantro from the Puebla Region in Mexico.

Data taken from News Updates

Texas Department of State Health Services

Health Advisory

June 22, 2015

Increase of Cyclospora infections in Texas; recommendation to test patients with consistent symptoms

The Texas Department of State Health Services in encouraging healthcare providers to test patients for Cyclospora if they have diarrheal illness lasting more than a few days or diarrhea accompanied by severe anorexia or fatigue.  Diagnosis of cyclosporiasis requires submission of stool specimens for "Ova and Parasite" testing with additional specific orders for Cyclospora identification.  A single negative stool specimen does not exclude the diagnosis; three specimens are optimal.

Within the past week, 42 cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services.  During the past three summers, a large number of cyclosporiasis cases have occurred in Texas.  Rapid reporting to public health enabling prompt investigation to identify possible common exposures is essential to preventing additional cases this year.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis usually begin 2 to 14 days after ingestion of oocysts in contaminated food or water.  Profuse diarrhea can last weeks to months, and may relapse.  Additional symptoms may include anorexia, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting, and low grade fever.

Although no common exposure source for this increase in cases has yet been identified, past outbreaks in the U.S. have been associated with consumption of imported fresh produce, including fresh cilantro, pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, basil, snow peas, and mesclun lettuce.  Thorough washing of fresh produce is recommended, but may not eliminate the risk of transmission since Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off all types of produce.  Infection is generally not transmitted directly from person-to-person.

Healthcare providers and laboratories should promptly report confirmed cyclosporiasis cases to their respective local health department or the Texas Department of State Health Services (Phone: 1-800-705-8868, Fax: 512-776-7616).

Information about Cyclospora is available at: professionals/index.html

Date taken directly from Texas Department of State Health Services pdf file Cyclosporiasis-HealthAdvisory-062215-2.pdf

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