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Stomach bug strikes Texas, nation; Crossroads doctors report no problems

By Elena Watts
July 24, 2013 at 2:24 a.m.
Updated July 25, 2013 at 2:25 a.m.


Tips for staying safe

• CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often.

• SEPARATE: Don't cross-contaminate.

• COOK: All food should be cooked to the right temperature.

• CHILL: Refrigerate leftovers and food promptly.

REPORT: If you believe you or someone you know became ill from eating a certain food, please contact your area health department.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A stomach bug outbreak that may be foodborne is affecting people across the country, including 65 reported cases in Texas.

At least 275 cases of cyclospora were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the CDC's website.

The infection causes diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, cramps and low-grade fever, according to the CDC.

The Texas Department of State Heath Services does not have data showing if any reported cases are from the Crossroads area.

Victoria Gastroenterologist Dharmendra Verma saw one case several years ago and said it tends to affect those with compromised immune systems.

The best way to combat contracting the infection is to wash produce and your hands thoroughly, Verma said.

The outbreak began in mid-June and is almost double the number of cases the state saw between 2001 and 2010, according to the state health department

Little is known about how the parasite is spread, but it does not appear to spread through person-to-person contact, according to the state department.

Contaminated water and imported fresh produce, including raspberries, basil, snow peas and mesclun lettuce have been implicated as culprits in past outbreaks.

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the infection, which is often found in tropical or subtropical countries and has been linked to imported fresh produce in the past.

Aside from Texas, infections have been reported in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut and New Jersey. The CDC says it isn't clear whether the cases are all linked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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