BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The Department of Health Services in Texas has just issued a warning against Cyclospora, as the parasite has infected at least 68 people in the state. Starting with mid-June, more and more people started experiencing diarrhea and other cyclosporiasis symptoms.
What is Cyclospora?
Texas health officials have been surprised by a Cyclospora outbreak in the state, and they started looking for possible sources which led to the widespread transmission of the disease. Past outbreaks have been caused by consumption of cilantro, basil, raspberries, snow peas, salad mixes already packaged, or fresh produce coming from imports.
Early diagnosis is extremely important, as doctors can avoid the rapid spread of the parasite. Patients can help with this as well, by going to the doctor immediately if they experience diarrhea, low appetite, or fatigue. Also, all doctors who receive patients with these symptoms should test them immediately for Cyclospora.
How to avoid a cyclosporiasis outbreak
What is important to know is the fact that one single negative result of the test does not guarantee the person is not infected with Cyclospora. This is why experts recommend doctors to collect three stool specimens for an accurate testing. Other methods, such as a pathogen panel test, are also more efficient.
Last year, authorities observed how the number of Cyclospora infections decreased. This situation is given mostly by the more thorough testing of imported products. In fact, 2016 was the first year when Mexico cilantro underwent proper testing after the import, before being sold to consumers.
Even so, it’s quite hard to stay away from this parasite. If you consume fresh produce, it’s better to wash it thoroughly before eating it. Even so, you won’t be 100 percent safe from the risk. Cyclospora is quite hard to eliminate from the product, so this is why it’s important they should be tested before being sent on the market.
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