Dozens of Texans stricken with ‘explosive bowel movements’ caused by rare parasitic infection from raw vegetables
- May be part of an outbreak also ravaging Iowa and Nebraska
- Washing fruits and vegetables not enough, they must be scrubbed
- Symptoms can last for months if untreated
By Ryan Gorman PUBLISHED: 18 July 2013 Daily Mail
Over 40 people in four north Texas counties have become ill after falling victim to the food-borne Cyclospora parasite, leaving them with a myriad of symptoms that can last for months if untreated. Infections have risen steadily in the state over the past few years, according to reports.
Health officials have told local media they believe the parasite has been caught by people eating fresh produce.
Explaining that the parasite is endemic to tropical or sub-tropical fruit, Dr. Peggy White, chief epidemiologist for Collin County (TX.), told the Dallas Morning News that ‘it could be coming in from fruit that was brought in from a tropical or subtropical region.’
Exposed: Cyclospora, which have caused hundreds of people to become sick across the midwest, are shown here under two different microscopes
Cyclospora leaves its droppings on fruits and vegetables, but simply rinsing the fruit isn’t enough, according to reports. Local health officials are recommending people scrub their produce and rinse it multiple times in order to avoid infection.
Sometimes we all do something closer to a rinse,” Vanessa Joseph, public health spokesperson for Tarrant County (TX.) told the paper, “but we really need to wash.”
Incidences of cyclospora have been on the rise across Texas in the past few years. Reported cases have risen from nine in 2010, to 14 in 2011 and 44 last year, according to NBC Dallas. With 42 infections from this outbreak alone, according to the paper, the state is on pace to top the previous year’s infection rate for at least the third year in a row.
Making it even more difficult to treat, experts told the station, is that tests to detect the parasite are not 100 percent accurate.
With another cyclospora outbreak raging across Iowa and Nebraska, Texas health officials are trying to determine if the two are linked, according to reports. Over 100 people have fallen victim to that outbreak.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2368834/Dozens-Texans-stricken-explosive-bowel-movements-caused-rare-parasitic-infection-raw-vegetables.html#ixzz2ZUb6IDRB
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