A recent outbreak of Cyclospora has Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services asking people to thoroughly wash their produce, according to KXAN. Cyclospora is an intestinal illness caused by microscopic parasite and is spread by drinking or eating food that was contaminated with feces.
As of Tuesday, the Department has 15 confirmed and probable cases and 11 new cases that are currently under investigation. In the past week alone, 42 cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Department officials say they haven’t been able to determine whether the outbreak is linked to one source since no particular food source has been identified.
Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce, including berries and leafy greens.
According to CDC, common symptoms of Cyclospora are:
- watery diarrhea
- loss of appetite
- stomach cramps
On the basis of the currently available information, avoiding food or water that may have been contaminated with feces is the best way to prevent Cyclosporiasis. Treatment with chlorine or iodine is unlikely to kill Cyclospora oocysts. No vaccine for Cyclosporiasis is available.