August 12, 2020 — Health officials in Austin-Travis County, Texas have reported dozens of cases of Cyclospora parasite infections since June 1.
Austin Public Health announced that a total of 82 cases were reported as of August 5, but they are still investigating the source of the outbreak.
Texas is one of 28 states in a “domestically-acquired outbreak” of unknown origin, according to the CDC. At least 779 people have been infected, including 49 people who were hospitalized, from May 1 to July 20.
However, Texas is NOT involved in a separate Cyclospora outbreak linked to Fresh Express salads, in which at least 641 people in 11 states were infected between May and July.
Cyclospora spreads when feces contaminates food or water. In recent years, Texas has been hit by multiple Cyclospora outbreaks in various types of fresh food imported from Mexico.
Texas health officials warned that “previous outbreaks have been linked to a variety of fresh fruits or vegetables, including raspberries, cilantro, basil, and green onions.”
There is typically 1 week between becoming infected with Cyclospora and developing symptoms. The symptoms include diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, loss of appetite, weight loss, cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and fatigue. Left untreated, these symptoms can last for months.
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