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July 07, 2018

Alert: Officials warn of a potential parasitic outbreak

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The health officials in Texas warned citizens to take precautionary measures in line with a potential parasitic outbreak involving a parasite called Cyclospora.

According to reports from health officials, dozens of people living in Texas were affected by the parasite in recent months.

A statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) revealed 56 cases have already been identified for illnesses due to since May.

The health department is still investigating to identify the source of the illnesses. For future updates about this story, follow us on Twitter at AmoMama USA.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cyclospora cayetanensis is a ‘microscopic, single-celled parasite.’ It causes an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis in affected people.

People seemed to become infected by the parasite when they intake food or drink water that had been contaminated with feces containing Cyclospora.

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It is common in tropical and subtropical countries, which makes residents or travelers in areas as such more prone to the infection, as revealed by the CDC.

In the US, outbreaks have been connected to imports of fresh produce, such as raspberries, basil, snow peas, mesclun lettuce, and cilantro. During the recent years, Texas outbreaks have been linked to cilantro.

Watery diarrhea has been concluded as the main symptom of cyclosporiasis. The DSHS stated that it could last for a few days up to a few months.

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Among the other symptoms is loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting, as well as a low fever.

People who have these symptoms are encouraged to set an appointment with their physician. The CDC explained that the treatment usually involves having to take two antibiotics.

In June, the CDC announced an outbreak that affected 185 people in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

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After further investigation, the epidemic was linked to Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable trays, which had broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks, carrots, and dill dip.

As of now, the health officials are yet to figure out if the outbreak in the four states has a connection with the Texas epidemic.

Washing of fresh produce has been recommended by the DSHS to reduce the risk of being infected. Cooking foods will kill the parasite as well.

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