Health care providers are being urged to test patients for cyclosporiasis if they have diarrheal illness lasting more than a few days, according to the Tarrant County Public Health Department.
Within the past month, 61 cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Eight of those cases have been reported to the Tarrant County Public Health Department.
According to Dr. Seema Yasmin, medical expert for The Dallas Morning News, symptoms usually begin two to 14 days after ingestion of contaminated food or water. Diarrhea can last weeks to months and may relapse.
Symptoms of cyclosporiasis may include weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever.
No common exposure source has yet been identified with this increase.
"At the moment, in North Texas, public health departments are still investigating. They're trying to find out what's the cause in the increase in numbers," said Yasmin.
Past outbreaks in the U.S. have been associated with the consumption of imported fresh produce, including fresh cilantro, prepackaged salad mix, raspberries, basil, snow peas and mesclun lettuce.