Texas Experiencing Another Active Year of Infections Due to Cyclospora
EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides environmental and food testing services to identify Cyclospora and other microorganisms to protect the public.
Last month, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that 88 cases of cyclosporiasis had been reported to the agency so far in 2016. This included 83 cases that were reported solely in July and August. Texas has experienced several years with high case counts, including 316 cases in 2015 and 351 cases in 2013 - the highest number for any state that year.
Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis, a parasite composed of one cell. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the parasite is spread by people ingesting something - such as food or water - that was contaminated with feces. Cyclospora needs days to weeks after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person. Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another.
Many past outbreaks of the infection have been linked to imported produce. In 2015, the CDC reported that contaminated cilantro infected close to 500 people in 30 states. The most recent spike of cases in Texas is believed to be associated with the consumption of contaminated foods, but the source has not yet been identified.
“Cyclospora infects the small intestine and usually causes diarrhea,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps and pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea and fatigue. Flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, body aches, headache and fever may also be present. However, some people who become infected do not have any symptoms.”
To help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks or to identify the source of one that has already occurred, EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides Cyclospora testing from food products and environmental samples. EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about Cyclospora and infection risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/dVFRgmZpTfQ.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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- EMSL Analytical, Inc.
- (1) 856-303-2503
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