10 cyclospora cases found in Central Texas

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL & KVUE.com

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 8:13 AM

AUSTIN -- Texas health officials are investigating the source of a growing stomach bug.

The illness is caused by a parasite called Cyclospora. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 122 cases have been confirmed in Texas in the month of July.

On Tuesday, officials verified that eight of those cases occurred in Travis County and two occurred in Williamson county.

Cyclospora is a rare parasite. It doesn't take much to make someone sick. The person will often suffer lengthy stomach pains including diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite and a low grade fever. Doctors say it's fairly simple to treat with antibiotics but can be difficult to track.

“It typically is food bourn, and it can sometimes be contracted from drinking contaminated water; either water out of public system or a well that got contaminated; or even drinking a small amount of water in a swimming pool,” explained an Austin ER physician.

The cyclospora is reaching out beyond Texas. Nationwide there are hundreds of cases. Two states, Iowa and Nebraska, have tracked the parasite to some prepackaged salad mixes.

Texas continues to look for the source of its outbreak. Twenty cases in Central Texas are still under investigation. The health department is trying to figure out where those people were when they got sick.

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