Cyclospora Cases Continue to Rise in North Texas

State health department now confirms 110 total cases in Texas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The number of cyclospora cases continues to rise in North Texas. (Published Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014)

    The number of cyclospora cases continues to rise in North Texas and across the state.

    The Texas Department of Health Services now reports 110 confirmed cyclospora cases in the state.

    Dallas County is reporting a quarter of the cases in the entire state. It now has 27, after 10 more were confirmed Tuesday. Tarrant County continues to have 13 cases, but health officials there expect to see more.

    While the cases continue to climb, the search for the cause goes on as well. Tarrant County Public Health said the exact cause of this summer's outbreak is far from being determined, but it's still likely from an imported food that was contaminated in the field or in a factory.

    "A lot of these are complex foods. It may be an item that gets associated and put in with other items and you can't tease it out, which one is it?" said Russell Jones, TCPH's chief epidemiologist. "But as we get more cases, we'll get closer to getting an idea as to what the problem is."

    Jones told the Tarrant County Commissioners Court on Tuesday that, like last year, North Texas is once again the center of the outbreak.

    "That's probably due to distribution channels that we don't understand at this point," Jones said.

    Last year, the state saw 351 total cases and, as of Tuesday, had 110 cases in 2014. In previous years, there may have only been single or double digits.

    While health departments continue to track the spread and the source, they also say the best way to prevent the parasite is to simply wash everything before eating it, even if you think it's already been cleaned.

    And while only 13 cases are listed in Tarrant County, it's likely far more people have actually gotten sick.

    "You figure there's quite a few more for every case we get," Jones said.

    Jones said people either don't go to doctors or get treated clinically and are never tested for the parasite.