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What are the symptoms of Cyclosporias? Parasite infects dozens in Texas

06 July 2018

The microscopic menace could be to blame for 56 cases in Texas, however reported cases in Houston are now down.

An investigation is underway after at least 56 people in Texas got sick due to the parasite.

Texas health officials have warned about an outbreak of illness that has so far sickened dozens of people in the lone star state.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. The symptoms may also come and go many times over weeks or months. Past outbreaks were associated with consumption of fresh produce. "These outbreaks happen in the summer because that's the season for these produce items".

"It does take a about a week from the incubation period from when someone becomes infected and when they start experiencing symptoms". Last year, more than 1000 people were sickened with cyclosporiasis in an outbreak that was never solved; 319 of those patients lived in Texas.

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There's no need to boycott fruits and vegetables, but health officials encourage everyone to thoroughly wash all fresh produce.

Texas has issued a Cyclospora Health Advisory to all healthcare providers in the state.

The main symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months. Cooking however, will kill the parasite.

"Basically the doctor is going to test your poop for this parasite to see if it exists", Packard said.