Local News

Parasite Outbreak Makes Dozens of Texans Sick

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This summer, 68 cases of Cyclospora have been reported in Texas, and KHOU reports that about half of those people live in the Houston area. People contract cyclosporiasis via a tiny parasite from eating foods or drinking water contaminated with human fecal matter.

ABC 13 lists the symptoms of cyclosporiasis, and it’s definitely an illness you don’t want to contract. People begin suffering from a slight fever, “diarrhea lasting for a few days to a few months, loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss and abdominal cramps” about two to 14 days after they catch the parasite. Those experiencing any of these issues should visit their doctor as soon as possible.

Porfidio Villareal, Public Information Officer for the Houston Health Department, told KHOU, “We don’t know where it’s coming from so far. That’s the point of us doing an investigation. We go talk to people, find out where they ate, where they bought their food. That way the information can go statewide and we can track the source.”

In order to keep you and your family safe from the nasty parasite, wash all of your produce thoroughly before ingesting it, and only go to restaurants you trust to prepare their food with care. Even if you’re careful, the parasite can be difficult to remove from products like salad mix, cilantro, basil and raspberries.