The Texas State Department of Health issued a new health advisory in relation to the Cyclospora outbreak that has been affecting the state. Because of the significant number of cyclosporiasis cases, health authorities are advising people to wash their food before eating it. They are also pointing out the need for seeking medical attention in case they present symptoms of the illness.
Cause of the Cyclosporiasis Outbreak Still Unknown
According to reports, reasons behind this latest Cyclospora outbreak is still unknown as authorities are still trying to find its cause. Presently, authorities are looking to determine possible common exposures to specific foods.
Past outbreaks were linked to the consumption of imported fresh produce, pre-packaged salad mixes, cilantro, or basil. Raspberries, mesclun lettuce, or snow peas are also among past causes.
Presently, there are 68 reported and confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in the state of Texas. Local officials started receiving reports of Cyclospora illnesses back in mid-June 2017.
Health authorities are now trying to prevent a major outbreak. To do so, they are asking doctors to start testing their patients for the Cyclospora parasite if these complain of a diarrheal illness that has been lasting for several days. They should also carry out tests if the patient has diarrhea accompanied by loss of appetite and severe fatigue.
Cyclosporiasis symptoms usually appear within 2 to 14 days after the ingestion of the Cyclospora oocysts. Its signs can last for weeks, even months, and then relapse. Bloating, low-level fever, increased gas, nausea, and vomiting are also among the illness’s signs.
Cyclosporiasis is difficult to prevent, as just washing fresh produce does not fully eliminate the risks. However, this action is still very much recommended and should always be followed. The illness is not transmittable from person to person.
Cooking can eliminate Cyclospora, but just dousing it in lemon juice, vinegar, or produce washes is not enough.
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