AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas health officials are trying to determine whether 56 cases of people getting sick from the parasite Cyclospora are related.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced the public health investigation in a review of illnesses since May. State officials are working with local health departments to determine if there’s a common source for the intestinal infections.
Cyclospora is a parasite commonly found in developing countries. The intestinal illness is caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the microscopic Cyclospora parasite. The main symptom is watery diarrhea that can last a few days or a few months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss and abdominal cramps and health officials say the symptoms may come and go multiple times.
While the search continues for the cause of the cases in Texas, past U.S. outbreaks have been associated with people eating imported fresh produce. Experts recommend thoroughly washing all produce.
Cooking will kill the parasite.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)