Austin woman contracts cyclospora - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Austin woman contracts cyclospora

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Cyclospora is a parasite sometimes found in imported produce. And there's an outbreak of it right now. It's blamed for giving nearly 400 people in 16 states gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea and extreme fatigue.

Mical Clark says a doctor in Dallas told her a few days ago she has it.

"I was having stomach problems and realizing that I couldn't eat as much and I love to eat. And I ate a lot...and I was constantly vomiting and having nausea," Clark said.

Christine Mann with the Department of State Health Services in Austin says here in Texas there are 132 confirmed cases.

Travis County health experts say seven of those cases are right here.

"Cyclospora is not new but it's relatively rare. We only see about 10 cases a year, 10-12 cases a year and that's it. So this is uncommon to have an outbreak of this size," Mann said.

Iowa and Nebraska have figured out a certain bagged salad is responsible for their outbreak.

"I know that other states have implicated mixed greens as the source of infection but we just haven't found that here," Mann said.

Mann says Texans who have been sick with it in this particular outbreak saw their symptoms in late June and early July.

They're encouraging clinicians to test their patients for it to see just how big this outbreak is.

"He went ahead and ran a test and said 'I'm glad you came to me about this' because all I eat really is salads. And a lot of times it is bag salads because I'm always on the go. I'm never really at home, I'm never really still," Clark said.

Clark says she just wants to get the word out about this illness she had never heard of until this week.

"Even though I'm trying so hard to be health conscious about what I'm eating and watching how I eat my things, it's like I still need to go over and beyond and do more because I'm still not doing enough," Clark said.

Even though we still don't know what's causing the outbreak here in Texas, the health department says it's just a good rule of thumb to wash all of your produce before you eat it...bagged or not.

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