Health Experts Look for Cyclospora Cause

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the number of cases of cyclospora grow, investigators are working to find the cause.

    As the number of cases of cyclosporiasis grow in North Texas, health officials are working to find the cause.

    "Typically with this particular organism, it is distributed on a produce item. People are getting it at different places. They are getting it at a market, they are getting it at a restaurant, they are getting it at a grocery store," said Russ Jones, chief of epidemiology at the Tarrant County Health Department.

    Judy Hiltunen thinks she got it at a restaurant when she ordered salad. For three weeks, she was down for the count.

    "No energy. I had no energy. Running to the bathroom. Just wanted to sleep, sleep, sleep," said Hiltunen.

    When someone tests positive for cyclospora, expect to hear from the health department. The chief of epidemiology for the Tarrant County Health Department took NBC 5 through how they look for a cause.

    First, investigators get basic information from people who have tested positive, and then they go through where they shop and have eaten.

    Next comes the tricky part. They want to know what the people have eaten for two weeks before they got sick.

    "It is not the last place you ate that got you sick, especially for this. It usually takes a couple of days," Jones said.

    Symptoms of cyclosporiasis may include weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever.