Texas health officials warn providers of rise in parasitic infections

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Monday issued a health advisory urging healthcare providers to test patients with diarrhea lasting longer than a few days for the parasite Cyclospora.

The health advisory comes as 68 cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported in the last month. Public health officials are investigating the recent surge of infections.

"Although no common exposure source has yet been identified for the increase in cases this year, past outbreaks in the U.S. have been associated with consumption of imported fresh produce, including fresh cilantro, pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, basil, snow peas and mesclun lettuce," said the health department.

The parasite causes the illness cyclosporiasis. Symptoms typically onset 2 to 14 day after ingesting the parasite. Additional possible symptoms may include anorexia, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever.

The Texas health department recorded a total of 148 cases of cyclosporiasis in 2016. 

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