August 16, 2013 — Health officials in Nebraska and Iowa have traced an outbreak of Cyclospora food poisoning to bagged salad mixes sold at Red Lobster and Olive Garden. However, Texas health officials report that the source of the outbreak remains elusive. Investigators are still working to look for commonalities among restaurants and match up cases.
Health officials at the Texas Department of State Health Services have reported that there were 258 cases of Cyclospora infection in the state. Although they cannot give individual case counts per county, approximately 60% of cases have been reported in Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant Counties.
Because the onset of illnesses peaked in late June (according to the 2013 Cyclospora outbreak epidemic curve), investigators have the difficult and complex task of asking people to remember where and what they ate weeks ago, and then trying to find commonalities.
The problem is that symptoms of cyclosporiasis may not appear for up to 14 days after the parasite is ingested. When symptoms appear, they may involve a persistent and watery diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, and flu-like symptoms that persist for at least a week. Water contaminated with sewage is the most common source of the infection in humans.
Texas Counties Affected by Cyclospora Outbreak
- El Paso
- Fort Bend
- Tom Green
- Van Zandt
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